Breath of Clarity

Endangered Species and Wildlife- Anthropogenic Factors

While the input of a species into a given area is based upon birth and immigration, a population decreases to a degree dependent upon its deaths and emigration (Yukon Environment 2012). To the extent the youth in both sexes thrive in their environment, they are able to mature and then produce offspring (Yukon Environment 2012). Indeed, there are many factors impacting the wildlife population dynamics. On a large scale, human-induced climate change directly impacts births and deaths as well as immigration and emigration patterns (Krausman and Cain 2013). Even the factors seemingly unrelated to anthropological effects are linked to human actions. That said, anthropogenic effects are important to understand considering they significantly influence population trends. One umbrella of influence is anthropogenic structures such as those associated with energy development are a major threat to wildlife as a result of direct and indirect effects on populations (Torre et al. 2014). Species already imperiled as a result of habitat loss and alteration also may be the most threatened by rapidly increasing energy development, and these added pressures could lead to species extinctions and further declines in biodiversity (Torre et al. 2014). A study searched peer-reviewed literature to assess impact of six anthropogenic structures- oil and gas, fences, wind turbines, buildings, roads and power lines- on grouse survival and displacement behavior across four different time periods in a grouse life cycle (Torre et al. 2014). Oil and gas had the greatest effect on displacement behavior and survival (Torre et al. 2014). Further, the grouse are one species amongst many vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts. Human effects are difficult to manage because there is tension between issues such as energy independence and species conservation. Unlike most other species, there is a significant lack of predator control over the births, immigration, deaths and emigration of the anthropogenic population.


Krausman, Paul R. and James W. Cain III, Eds. 2013 Wildlife Management and Conservation: Contemporary Principles and Practices. Wildlife Management and Conservation Series. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Torre J. Hovick, R. Dwayne Elmore, David K. Dahlgren, Samuel D. Fuhlendorf and David M. Engle. 2014. “Evidence of negative effects of anthropogenic structures on wildlife: a review of grouse survival and behaviour”. Journal of Applied Ecology. 51(6): 1680-1689.

Yukon Environment. 2012. “Wildlife Management Principles: Understanding Population Dynamics.” YouTube. Feb 1,2012. Vide, 7:03.

Comment by Nora Frank:
Hi Mary,

I liked your point where you linked the consequences of anthropogenic effects to indirects effects of climate change. In many cases this quarter and even as I pointed out in my discussion, climate change is often looked at as a separate entity that has a more unpredictable nature, therefore, harder to manage. I think you point about how even certain actions that don’t appear to be directly linked to human activities, inevitably are. Do you think moving forward it is important to look at climate change through the lens of anthropogenic influences or continue to treat it as a separate entity?

My Comment:
Hi Nora,

Great point in that seeing climate change as an unpredictable phenomenon leads to perceiving it as harder to manage. That said, viewing climate change as a scientifically predictable phenomenon should make it easier to manage. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0 degree celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels, with a likely range of .8 degree celsius to 1.2 degree celsius (IPCC 2018). I found it interesting the report used data about the past to predict the future. Reflecting the long-term warming trend since pre-industrial times, the report declared with very high confidence that the observed global mean surface temperature for the decade 2006–2015 was 0.87°C (likely between 0.75°C and 0.99°C) higher than the average over the 1850–1900 period (IPCC 2018). Further, the report said with high confidence that global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degree celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate (IPCC 2018). However, using science about the past to predict the future still rubs those who see it as an unpredictable phenomenon the wrong way. At the same time, it is important to look at climate change through the lens of anthropogenic influences in order to cultivate a sustainable human existence on this planet. Therefore, tactics must be future-oriented, focused on gathering new data and bringing a variety of stakeholders into the effort.

Taking collaborative adaptive management measures would be a great way to do meet climate change deniers where they’re at in terms of uncertainty and propel them to be grounded in science moving forward. Adaptive management is characterized by circumstances with (1) high degrees of uncertainty (2) complexity resulting from multiple variables and non-linear interactions; (3) interconnectedness—among issues, across landscapes, and between people and place; and (4) persistent, possibly dramatic, change (Scarlett 2013). From there, adaptive management is defined as systematic processes for improving management practices through ongoing learning with a focus on outcomes, assessed through monitoring and evaluation (Scarlett 2013). The process of using management interventions as experimental treatments is strongly aligned with is overall goal to improve management (Department of Interior 2012). It contains the capacity to alter courses of action in response to new knowledge and dynamic conditions (Scarlett 2013). Additionally, bringing collaboration into adaptive management emphasizes that knowledge and its potential relevance to users emerge within social settings through which issue framing occurs, goals are articulated, and options to address issues are developed, implemented, monitored, and adjusted (Scarlett 2013). With the engagement of multiple public-sector, nonprofit, and private-sector participants, collaborative adaptive management often entails producing services with the public more than delivering services to the public (Scarlett 2013). Implementing the collaborative adaptive management approach with a range of stakeholders would crucially demonstrate the anthropogenic effects of climate change.


Department of the Interior. 2012. Adaptive Management: The U.S. Department of the Interior Applications Guide. Washington D.C.: US Department of the Interior. Chapters 1-3, 5-6. Accessed Nov. 5, 2019.

IPCC. 2018 “Special Report: Global Warming 1.5 deg C, Summary for Policy Makers.” Accessed Nov 5, 2019:

Scarlett, L. 2013. Collaborative adaptive management: challenges and opportunities. Ecology and Society 18(3):26.

Comment by Nora Frank:
Hi Mary,

Nice job tying it back to CAM. I do agree that it is important to address climate change in conjunction with anthropogenic influences and stressors. Since some of the characteristics for adaptive management is change and complexity with multiple variables, it seems nearly impossible to completely isolate climate change as a separate entity without addressing human influences and consequences of the past and present.

Comment by Gary Mitchler:
Hi Mary,

Within your post you go into great deal regarding the anthropogenic implications from development regarding the energy sector and how it has altered grouse populations in a negative way. Human impact on our world and the species that come into conflict with our exploitation of the environment has had lasting negative implications that I feel as though we are only barely beginning to understand. In your mind do you think that the move towards green energy production will have the same negative consequences that oil and gas operations do? Renewable energy sources no doubt have many positives about the wider use over hydrocarbons but seems as though wind farms, vast areas of solar arrays or construction of damns for hydropower can be equally as detrimental in many ways. How do you think we should best approach this situation as we move away from oil and gas towards renewable energy?