Event Title

The growing number of species of concern in the Salish Sea suggests ecosystem decay is outpacing recovery

Presentation Abstract

Species of concern are native species, sub-species or ecologically significant units that warrant special attention to ensure their conservation. The number of species of concern within the Salish Sea is used by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada as a transboundary ecosystem indicator (called "Marine Species at Risk"). Within the Salish Sea, four jurisdictions assess which species require special efforts to ensure protection and survival of the population: the Province of British Columbia, the State of Washington, the Canadian Federal Government, and the United States Federal Government. As of December 1, 2015, there were 125 species at risk in the Salish Sea. Between 2002 (when the list was first compiled) and 2008, the number of listed species grew at an average annual rate of 1% from 60 to 64. It then made a precipitous jump to 113 listed species in 2011 (an average annual growth rate of 15% for 3 years) and has since continued to grow at an average annual rate of 2.6%. Some of the increase seen can be attributed to better understanding of the number of fish, reptile, bird and mammal species known to use the Salish Sea, however most additions represent new listings due to concern about population declines. The number of species of concern provides a crude indicator of ecosystem health, permits cross checking of species of concern between jurisdictions, suggests where more research is needed to assess species status or causes of decline, and highlights where transboundary approaches could benefit species recovery. Assuming listing efforts have been consistent, the increasing number of species of concern within the Salish Sea over the last 13 years suggests ecosystem recovery efforts are being outpaced by ecosystem decay.

Session Title

From Conversation to Conservation Action: Balancing Endangered Species Protection and Growth on BC's South Coast

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

2016 12:00 AM

End Date

2016 12:00 AM

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Genre/Form

conference proceedings; presentations (communicative events)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Subjects – Topical (LCSH)

Endangered species--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Estuarine ecology--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)--Environmental conditions

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

The growing number of species of concern in the Salish Sea suggests ecosystem decay is outpacing recovery

2016SSEC

Species of concern are native species, sub-species or ecologically significant units that warrant special attention to ensure their conservation. The number of species of concern within the Salish Sea is used by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada as a transboundary ecosystem indicator (called "Marine Species at Risk"). Within the Salish Sea, four jurisdictions assess which species require special efforts to ensure protection and survival of the population: the Province of British Columbia, the State of Washington, the Canadian Federal Government, and the United States Federal Government. As of December 1, 2015, there were 125 species at risk in the Salish Sea. Between 2002 (when the list was first compiled) and 2008, the number of listed species grew at an average annual rate of 1% from 60 to 64. It then made a precipitous jump to 113 listed species in 2011 (an average annual growth rate of 15% for 3 years) and has since continued to grow at an average annual rate of 2.6%. Some of the increase seen can be attributed to better understanding of the number of fish, reptile, bird and mammal species known to use the Salish Sea, however most additions represent new listings due to concern about population declines. The number of species of concern provides a crude indicator of ecosystem health, permits cross checking of species of concern between jurisdictions, suggests where more research is needed to assess species status or causes of decline, and highlights where transboundary approaches could benefit species recovery. Assuming listing efforts have been consistent, the increasing number of species of concern within the Salish Sea over the last 13 years suggests ecosystem recovery efforts are being outpaced by ecosystem decay.