Date of this Version
The unprecedented scale of problems affecting wildlife ecology today overwhelms many managers. Challenges are no longer local in origin, but rather a tangle of local, regional and even global externalities often interacting in unpredictable ways. Previously isolated ecosystems have become increasingly connected at global, hemispheric and regional levels, eroding their integrity. Endocrine-disrupting compounds applied in Mexico have changed avian sexual development in the Great Lakes (Colborn et al. 1996). Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) reproduction in the Carpathian mountains falters when the color of newborns is no longer cryptic because climate change prematurely melts snow cover (K. Perzanowski, Polish Academy of Sciences, pers. comm.). Climate change predictions (Houghton et al. 2001) now project sea-level rise up to 5 meters within the next few centuries, which will displace more than a billion people and inundate coastal plains. The populations of many species have dwindled and disappeared as they have been displaced by invasive and introduced species and as habitat removal and fragmentation change migration patterns and the carrying capacity of landscapes.