ESRM 458

Management of Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive Species

When: Winter 2010, 5 Credits

Where: Lecture: T and Th 9:30-11:20, Anderson 306

Discussion Sections: Th 1:30-3:20, Anderson 306

Instructor: John Marzluff, 123E Anderson, 616-6883;

E-mail Listserve:

Purpose: The purpose of this course is to take an in depth look at the problem of species endangerment and investigate modern solutions to the problem. We will cover the political and biological aspects of endangerment and contrast proactive and reactive means to maintain and restore species. An important aspect of the class will stress involvement in the conservation process as students work as teams to develop and present research or management plans for endangered species.

Prerequisites: Seniors in Forest Resources, Biology, Botany, Zoology, graduate standing, or permission of instructor required. ESC 350 and BIOL 476 recommended.

Objectives: There are 5 objectives: 1) to probe the biological underpinning and political reality of endangered species management; 2) to provide discussion of current endangered species issues; 3) to contribute to management of endangered species by participating in conservation efforts; 4) to improve your writing, synthesis, and oral presentation skills; 5) to introduce you to local, regional, and national endangered species managers with a variety of experiences and views.

Texts:     The Stanford Environmental Law Society. 2001. The Endangered Species Act. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, CA. (Required)

                Goble, D.D. et al. 2006. The Endangered Species Act at Thirty, Vol. 1. Island Press. Covelo, CA (Recommended)


Lectures: Lecture outlines, podcasts, and references will be available on our website. You are encouraged to get these before class and embellish them during lecture. Lectures are designed to probe important concepts, not cover all material in the chapters or readings. I will illustrate ideas in lecture with examples and bring current conservation issues to your attention.

Readings: The text books are available for purchase and the extra readings are on reserve in the Natural Sciences Library. Readings are designed to provide a broad background and define an entry point into the primary scientific literature.

Course Requirements: YOU ARE RESONSIBLE FOR ALL ASSIGNED READING MATERIAL, and ideas presented during lecture and lab meetings. Lectures will be adapted to class needs, rather than being constrained to cover all assigned material. Significant developments, not fully covered on available outlines, are likely during lecture and lab meetings. Therefore, your participation in class and lab may affect your grade.

Grading: Your grade will be determined by your test scores and lab projects. There will be one midterm exam and a final. Exams will concentrate on recent material, but ALL WILL BE COMPREHENSIVE. They will be takehome format and include a variety of participatory, short answer and essay questions as well as data interpretation. Class members will work in teams to develop a written project of relevance to Washington or National conservation efforts, and each will be responsible for presenting portions of the plan to the class in an oral format. Total points will be determined in the following way:

Midterm 1 100 pts.  This will be a takehome exam..

Final 200 pts. This will be a takehome exam.

Class Discussions 100 pts.


-class project 300 pts.

-oral presentations  100pts.

TOTAL 800 pts.

Final grades are assigned according to the following scale:

A = 3.5 – 4.0 90-95+%

B = 2.5 – 3.4 80-89%

C = 1.5 – 2.4 70-79%

D = 0.7 – 1.4 60-69%

F = 0 <60%

Final Exam: THE EXAM IS DUE BY Wednesday March 17, 10:30-12:20  A hard copy must be in my mailbox beside Anderson 123E by 5pm that Wednesday.

Contingencies: Excused absences and prior notification required are to receive make-up exams or delay assignments. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to let me know you will be unable to take an exam or turn in an assignment. Make-up exams may be written or oral, at the instructor’s discretion. Assignments turned in late for unexcused reasons will be accepted, but discounted 15% for every week they are late.

Syllabus of Lecture Topics


Lecture Topic


Articles to Read

 Topics and Lecture Files




Brook et al. 2008

Scott et al. 2006

Senate Proposal for Class Discussion

Rarity, Endangerment and Extinction: Patterns and Causes----forms, vortices, and quartets

Podcast of Lecture


1, 6

Dunn et al. 2009

Continue with Rarity, Endangerment and Exinction



Crandall et al. 2000

Bergstrom et al. 2009

Legislative Response to Endangerment: What is an Endangered Species?

Podcast of Lecture



Hayward 2009

ESA Provisions, Mandates and Definitions

Podcast of Lecture



 Restani and Marzluff 2002  

Taylor et al. 2005; Clark et al. 2006


Assessment and Revision of the ESA;

Podcast of Lecture




Scott et al. 2005

More Assessment and Revision



Mooney 2005

Findlay et al. 2009

Update on New Congressional Action on ESA

Canada’s SARA


4, 5 

Sidle 1998  

Critical Habitat and its Conservation

Podcast of Lecture




Wilhere 2009 ; Wilhere 2002 ; Wilhere 2008

Discussion with George Wilhere on HCPs



Lande 1993

Demographic Aspects of Rarity and Endangerment

Podcast of Lecture




Guest Lecture—Kara Whittaker and Karl Forsgaard, Washington Forest Law Center

First Reading about Northern Spotted Owl Take Case  

More Readings about Owl Case: 2  3  4  5  6 7

Lecture on Spotted Owls and the ESA



Takehome exam, no class, due in my mailbox by 5pm




Beissinger 2002; Ralls et al. 2002

Continue Demography and Rarity



Lynch 1996; Fleischer 1998

Genetic Aspects of Rarity and Endangerment

Podcast of Lecture


Guest Lecture—Donna Darm, NOAA Fisheries

Critical Habitat for Puget Sound Salmon



Williams and Hoffman 2009

Continue Genetics and Rarity



Snyder et al. 1996

Removing Limiting Factors: Captive Propagation

Podcast of Lecture



Kleiman & Black 1994

 Reintroduction and Translocation


Podcast of lecture



Squires et al. 1998; USFWS 1996

Sensitive Species Management

Podcast of Sensitive Species Lecture

Dealing with Uncertainty

Podcast of Uncertainty Lecture





Syllabus for Project Sessions




Special Notes

1 (1/7)

Project Scoping


Powerpoint of Presentations

This years projects are:

1.  Sensitive species management on the prairie: ferruginous hawks and prairie dogs in Kansas

2. Listing petition for the Sierra Nevada Red Fox

3. Ordination analysis of coarse and fine-level vegetation data in and around golden paintbrush plants.  Washington Parks would like analysis done to both data sets to help us identify how to best select augmentation sites.

4. Introduced fish and amphibian literature review for National Park Service.

5. Habitat modeling for marbled murrelets for US Forest Service

2 (1/14)

Population Viability

Fox 1             Hawk Land Cover

Fox 2             Grinnell Fox Account

Fox 3             Lynx listing petition

Fisher Listing         Wolverine listing

Wolverine Literature for Listing

Aubry 1997 Red Fox Paper

Bloedel Computer Lab—Room 261

3 (1/21)

Continue PVA or Work with Project Sponsors


Bloedel Computer Lab—Room 261 and Anderson 306

4 (1/28)

Work on Projects



5 (2/4)

Work on Projects



6 (2/11)

Work on Projects



7 (2/18)

First Presentation


 Student Teams Present

8 (2/25)

Work on Projects



9 (3/4)

Work on Projects



10 (3/11)

Continue Final Presentation of Projects (from morning class section)


Student Teams Present