Presentation Abstract

Conservation research has predominantly focused on identifying where and why species or habitats are under threat. While this is a crucial first step, it does not tell us how to optimize the allocation of resources in order to conserve threatened biodiversity. The time is ripe to focus on identifying the key management actions needed to respond to multiple threats and emerging risks. Using state-of-the-art techniques in conservation decision science, priority threat management assessment, and expert elicitation, we seek to identify the most ecologically effective and at the same time, least costly management actions needed to ensure the long-term persistence of at risk biodiversity of the Fraser River Estuary. This estuary is the mouth of the largest salmon bearing river in the world and a stopover point for more than one million migratory birds. Many species on the estuary are at risk due to water pollution and loss of habitat resulting from industrial and urban development, exploitation of fish stocks, and climate change. This study region serves as a prime example of a complex system under siege from multiple threats but with limited scientific data. We show that such systems can be analyzed to generate management actions ranked according to estimated cost, ecological benefits, the probability of success. Importantly, this analysis can clarify what can and cannot be achieved for different levels of conservation investment, and can be used to leverage increased investment in conservation management.

Session Title

The Lower Fraser River: A Wildlife Hotspot on the Brink

Keywords

Priority threat management, Conservation Decision Science

Conference Track

SSE4: Ecosystem Management, Policy, and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE4-80

Start Date

6-4-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 10:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
Apr 6th, 10:30 AM Apr 6th, 10:45 AM

Prioritizing management actions for the Fraser River estuary

Conservation research has predominantly focused on identifying where and why species or habitats are under threat. While this is a crucial first step, it does not tell us how to optimize the allocation of resources in order to conserve threatened biodiversity. The time is ripe to focus on identifying the key management actions needed to respond to multiple threats and emerging risks. Using state-of-the-art techniques in conservation decision science, priority threat management assessment, and expert elicitation, we seek to identify the most ecologically effective and at the same time, least costly management actions needed to ensure the long-term persistence of at risk biodiversity of the Fraser River Estuary. This estuary is the mouth of the largest salmon bearing river in the world and a stopover point for more than one million migratory birds. Many species on the estuary are at risk due to water pollution and loss of habitat resulting from industrial and urban development, exploitation of fish stocks, and climate change. This study region serves as a prime example of a complex system under siege from multiple threats but with limited scientific data. We show that such systems can be analyzed to generate management actions ranked according to estimated cost, ecological benefits, the probability of success. Importantly, this analysis can clarify what can and cannot be achieved for different levels of conservation investment, and can be used to leverage increased investment in conservation management.