Saving endangered species: like curling, it’s all about strategy.

By Jenny McCune

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Cheryl Bernard (far right) and her team strategize during the 2010 Winter Games (photo by N. Chase)

I love watching curling at the Olympics.  Sure, it doesn’t have the high flying jumps of the half-pipe or the speed of alpine skiing, but it requires strength, skill, and most of all, strategy.  The best curlers find the weaknesses of their opponents, predict what they might do, and out-fox them to win points.

Saving endangered species from extinction takes strategy too.  We have to find out what the threats are, and then do the right things to reduce them.  A good recovery strategy can lead to amazing results:  the Catalina Island Fox plummeted from 1,300 to 100 foxes in 1999 due to an outbreak of distemper virus.  But a coordinated strategy of captive breeding, relocation, vaccination and population monitoring has brought them back to around 1,500 foxes today.

Photo: National Park Service, US Department of Interior

The Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis). The Catalina Island subspecies of this fox was rescued from extinction by a coordinated recovery strategy. Photo: National Park Service, US Department of Interior

We need this kind of strategic effort in Canada in order to save our own endangered species.  For example, like the foxes, many of our bats are also threatened by a devastating disease.  Concerned scientists and citizens are working together to find the right strategy to make a difference.

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2 thoughts on “Saving endangered species: like curling, it’s all about strategy.

  1. Pingback: Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 104 – Darwin’s Fox | Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

  2. Pingback: USA: grass, thought extinct, found in California | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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