Migration and Conservation: Frameworks, Gaps, and Synergies in Science, Law, and Management

Article excerpt

  I. Introduction
 II. Existing Ecological Typologies of Migration
      A. What Is Migration?
      B. Why Migrate?
      C. The Geography of Migration
      D. Who Migrates?
      E. The Timing of Migration
      F. Genetics, Learning, and Navigation
      G. Future Directions in Migration Research
III. Typology of Existing Legal Approaches
     A. Funding, Assistance, Coordination, and information
        Generation and Exchange
     B. State Conservation Planning in Exchange for Federal Incentives
     C. Acquiring and Designating Habitat for the Benefit of Species
        Individuals and Populations
     D. Controls on "Take" of Species' Individuals, Including
        Prohibitions and Harvest Restrictions
     E. Standards and Management Practices to A void Harm to
        Individuals and Populations
     F. Concluding Thoughts
 IV. Typologies Related to Wildlife Management
     A. Management. Contexts
        1. Wildlife Management in the Context of Land Management
           a. Federal Lands
           b. Non-Federal Lands
        2. Wildlife Management in the Context of Federal and State
           a. Waters of the United States
           b. State Waters
        3. Wildlife Management in the Context of Species Management
     B. Management Tools for Conserving Migratory Species
        1. Tools for Land Management
        2. Tools for Species Management
        3. Interjurisdictional, Landscape-Scale Management
     C. Migration Typology for Managers
  V. Discussion
     A. Synergies in Migration Research, Policy, and Management
     B. Gaps in Migration Conservation
        1. Gaps in Scientific Information to Support Conservation of
           Migratory Species
        2. Gaps in Laws and Policies
           a. Gaps in Addressing Fragmentation and Obstacles
           b. Jurisdictional Gaps
           c. Taxonomic Gaps
           d. Gaps in Spatial Coverage
           e. Limitations on Protection at Ecologically Relevant Levels
           f. Summary of La wand Policy Gaps
        3. Gaps in Management Focus and Needs
     C. Improving Conservation of Migrants and Migrations
 VI. Conclusion


Migratory species once created some of the biggest natural spectacles on the planet: flocks of migrating birds that darkened the skies, (1) migrations of antelope and bison that covered African and North American grasslands from horizon to horizon, (2) sea turtles in the Caribbean so dense that "it seemed that the ships would run aground on them." (3) Abundance made many of these species attractive targets for hunters and fishers. Some, such as the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), have been lost; (4) others were rescued from extinction when public outcry led to changes in laws protecting them. (5) In the United States, the Lacey Act (6) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (7) helped bring to a close the unregulated market hunting of waterfowl and shorebirds and the more focused--but no more sustainable--hunting of migratory waterbirds and songbirds for the millinery trade in ladies' hats. (8)

If the abundance of many migratory species once made them obvious targets for hunting, the movements of migratory species now place them at risk due to loss of habitat, barriers to movement, and mortality from obstacles, pollution, as well as legal and illegal hunting. However, in the absence of evidence of overwhelming mortality such as preceded the MBTA, little additional protection has been extended to these species that run their respective migratory gauntlets year in and year out. At one time, immensely effective protection was afforded one large taxon (9) (birds) simply by modifying one activity (hunting). To seek, now, to protect the wide variety of migratory taxa at levels that allow them to be ecologically relevant and to continue to provide phenomena of abundance requires modifying many aspects of human undertakings. …