Subject: Re: endangered species

Al Romero (aromero@ACC.FAU.EDU)
Wed, 09 Apr 1997 17:26:41 -0500 (EST)

At 01:54 PM 4/9/97 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello Aldemaro!
>        I am a 17year old from Frankfurt.  I am wondering if you coul help
>me with something.  I found your address on the internet on WhaleNet.  Well
>I am doing an extended essay on whales and condors.  I was wondering if you
>could answer some of my questions.  Well My essay question is "What is the
>difference between a species that is saved and one that is almost extinct? 

The generally accepted definition for an extinct species is that of a
species which has not been seen in the last 50 years.  Thus, we could say
that a species becomes "almost" extinct if there are so few individuals left
that can hardly be saved or if it has not been seen recently in its usual
habitat.  Regarding a species "saved," actually there is not such a thing
since there is always the possibility that due to a drastic change in
natural conditions or just due to the action of humans it may become extinct
in the future. We preferred to say that there are species that are
threatened and those that are not presently so.

>You don't answer that question but I have two questions if you don't mind
>answering.  I might have some more but I haven't thought of them now.  Here
>are the questions:
>Can the Whale be saved?

Yes. As a matter of fact, thanks to a moratorium in the hunting of most
species of whales, many have been brought back from the brink of extinction
and their current numbers show that they have, at least partially, recovered
a healthy populational status. On the other hand, others species only have a
few individuals left.

>How did the whale become extinct?

We have no record of any spcies of whale having become extinct during human
history, but the fossil record shows that many species have become extinct
in the about 50 million years of history of cetacean evolution.  Usually is
is due to either drastic environmental changes (such as availability of food
sources) or the appearance of new predators that take advantage of these
species. 

>This is only if you can help me.  If you don't want to answer them then I
>can try to find another primary source.  Remembr this is only if you want
>to .  You can decide but I have a deadline which I have to turn in my essay
>so if you could please reply back quickly then that would be a good start. 
>Thanks so much for reading this.
>Take you time on the questions.
>Sincerely,
>Mary
>PS good luck

It has been my pleasure in trying to help you. Let me know if you have any
other questions. 

Best wishes,


Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.		
Florida Atlantic University	(954)236-1125	
College of Liberal Arts		(954)236-1150 (F)
Department of Biology		aromero@acc.fau.edu
2912 College Ave.,
Davie, FL 33314