Love Not Loss: North America Arctic

By Megan, Gopika, Harman, and Richard

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED: Eskimo curlew - Numenius borealis

  • Species habitat: Tundras in western arctic Canada and Alaska.

  • Species ecological roles: Eskimo curlews picked up food by sight and probing. They mostly ate berries, insects, snails and other invertebrates.

  • Value: popular species to be hunted

  • Causes for extinction or endangerment: Bird Hunting and because the nests were on the ground and the birds did not try that hard to fight off invaders many of them also died that way.

  • Consequences of the loss of the species: Non-game bird hunting in the United States was stopped by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

  • Rate of loss: About 2 million were killed in 1 year

EXTINCT: Sea Mink - Neovison macrodon

  • Species habitat: Coasts of Canada and East North American coasts

  • Species ecological role(niche): The Sea Mink lived among rocks along ocean and ate fish, seabirds, and mollusks. It had a distinct niche due to its unique teeth and the fact that it was one of most aquatic mustelids as well as nocturnal.

  • Value: Fur used for clothing and other luxury goods(economic) and unique niche in ecosystem(ecological)

  • Causes for extinction or endangerment: It was hunted for the demanding European fur trade(economic).

  • Consequences of the loss of the species: Loss of source of mink pelts, inability to study them(they went extinct before scientists could properly study them)

RECOVERED: Arctic Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus

  • Species habitat (Location(s)):

    • Canada, Alaska

  • Species ecological roles (niche)

    • The peregrine falcon primarily eats smaller birds such as pigeons, or jays, but rarely will eat insects and animals. They usually live on high structured areas, and are top of the food chain as well.

  • Value (ecological, socio-political, economic, intrinsic/aesthetic)

    • The peregrine falcon serves to regulate the food chain in the places it lives. It serves a large part of the ecological food chain as it feeds on birds, that feed on insects, so it is a regulator of ecosystems.

  • Causes for extinction or endangerment (Ecological, socio-political, economic)

    • The main cause was that of the use of DDT (a chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticide) that would mess up the eggs of peregrine falcons and kill the birds within them. Basically it caused eggshell thinning, resulting in nesting failures. A certain substance in DDT, named DDE, would stop the eggshells from getting the nutrition they needed to make a stronger shell.

  • Consequences of the loss of the species (Ecological, socio-political, economic)

    • First off, birds like pigeons and jays become more common in which the equilibrium of the ecosystem is off. Second of all, other animals would then go extinct because of the peregrine falcons help. For example, a red breasted goose used to nest near the ground but their eggs would be hunted, so then they nested up higher around where peregrine falcons live. The peregrine falcon would make sure to protect its home at all times, also protecting the areas surrounding it, including giving free protection the the red breasted goose nest.

  • Rate of loss (is possible) From 1930 to mid 1970, they had suffered about an 80-90 percent decline.

Works Cited

BirdLife International. "Falco Peregrinus." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/45354964/0>.


BirdLife International. "Numenius Borealis." Numenius Borealis (Eskimo Curlew). IUCN, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22693170/0>.


"Eskimo Curlew (Numenius Borealis)." RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015 <http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22693170>.


Turvey, S. & Helgen, K. "Neovison Macrodon (Sea Mink)." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, 2008. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/40784/0>.


"Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project." National Audobon Society, 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <http://vt.audubon.org/peregrine-falcon-recovery-project>.