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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Step 7 Identify Population Objectives Population Objective is set here.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Step 7 Identify Population Objectives Population Objective is set here."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Step 7 Identify Population Objectives Population Objective is set here

2 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Describe what is meant by population objectives Describe characteristics of population objectives Identify existing resources of population objectives Learning Objectives

3 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Population Objectives A population objective is a measurable outcome describing the... 3) Vital Rates 1) Abundance 2) Trend 4) Population index Ex: 7,400 kites Ex: 10% annual increase in kites Ex: 2 fledglings/pair/year Ex: 62 active territories Swallow-tailed kite...of an organism inhabiting a given area.

4 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Population Objectives We measure population objectives to understand how species numbers, trends, vital rates or indices change over time. Changes can be biological: Vegetation succession / climatic / density Changes can be anthropogenic: Habitat conversion / varying management regimes The PO informs conservation planning and management decisions Hey PO…. Im your density

5 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America - Population Objectives - Choose Wisely Are the population objectives biologically realistic, given: The biology of the species. The issue at hand (justification). The current landscape. Future trends in the landscape. Can you measure it? With the accuracy required? (Have you identified the accuracy required?) Do population objectives span spatial sales? Whats the time scale?

6 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Population Objectives Downlisting criterion #1: Based on their current population trajectory, >400 birds should be reached between 2023 and Downlisting criterion #2: Population unlikely to reach 1,000 birds by Butler et al. in review. Whooping Cranes

7 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Examples of Existing Population Objectives Conservation Target/Species GroupsExisting Guidance with Goals and Objectives Migratory birds Goals and objectives from continental plans for waterfowl, land birds, water birds and shorebirds; Joint Venture or Bird Conservation Region implementation plans Species of Greatest Conservation Need State Wildlife Action Plans Marine mammals Individual species conservation plans or recovery plans (e.g. Pacific walrus, sea otters, Florida manatee) Fish and aquatic resources Management plans by stocks or sites; National Fish Habitat Action Plan partnerships Threatened and endangered species Recovery plans, Spotlight Species Action Plans, 5- Year Reviews Game species State management plans Ecological services and other more traditional conservation targets (species, habitat types) Other partner strategic planning documents and implementation plans.

8 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Oh No! No Population Objective Exists! Follow recipe: 1) 2) What does public want? 3) Work Collaboratively: NGOs, States, DOI, DOA, Tribes, LCC, JV 4) Use other method – species/habitat models, carrying capacity …. (provided choose wisely).

9 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Step 8 Test For Logic and Consistency Explain the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of selected species for representing a broader suite of species Describe strategies for evaluating effectiveness of a surrogate species approach Discuss why it is important to ensure consistency across landscapes

10 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Why Evaluate Effectiveness? Assumption: surrogate species or groups are proxies for management of a larger suite of species Yet the surrogate concept has mixed results…… Is surrogate selection appropriate to achieve objectives? Does it work? The selection of surrogate species informs conservation planning and actions

11 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Ways To Test Logic Of Selection Articulate the assumed linkages between surrogate and beneficiary species. Examine geographic overlap between surrogate and beneficiary species. Expert review to ensure selection is defensible/sound. Model, measure or monitor effects.

12 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Consistency Aim for consistency in selection of species and objectives across the landscape. So were efficient and effective

13 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Step 9 Identify Knowledge Gaps and Uncertainties Discuss reasons why it is important to identify knowledge gaps and uncertainties throughout the process. Explain how you can use this information to identify future needs for research and monitoring that will improve our ability to meet our objectives. Describe how uncertainty and knowledge gaps might influence selection of species.

14 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Knowledge Gaps and Uncertainties This wondrous thing, though not a lie, can comfort the biologist when time runs dry. To sell your work, it can be an important tool, but without testing first, you could look the fool…

15 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Knowledge Gaps and Uncertainties Surrogate species selection and establishing biological outcomes should document: –Knowledge gaps –Uncertainties –Assumptions …plus determine their influence or relative importance

16 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Gaps, Uncertainties, and Assumptions Drive Research and Monitoring Identifying gaps, uncertainty or assumptions helps drive a deliberate research agenda (if theyre important enough) This helps guide where future research and monitoring contribute most. Targets where resources meet pressing needs. Allows us to adapt our approaches with new information

17 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Risk, Uncertainty, and Surrogate Species Selection Does species with high uncertainty of being an appropriate surrogate? Maybe hold back. Does species have information gaps with a high risk of altering decision? Maybe hold back. Can assess structurally (SDM) or informally among taxon experts.

18 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Step 10 Monitoring Effectiveness Describe how you would determine the effectiveness of a surrogate species approach (i.e., test the assumptions made when selecting surrogate species). Identify what information you would need to determine effectiveness. Discuss how effectiveness of this approach could be improved by iteratively repeating the steps in the process with lessons learned from this evaluation. Consider what biological outcomes would need to be measured to demonstrate effectiveness of a surrogate species approach.

19 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Monitoring Effectiveness Questions: How well does the selected surrogate represent the other species within the shared ecosystem? How effective is the surrogate species approach? Response: Monitor it!

20 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Testing Effectiveness of Surrogate Species Approach Provide information to reduce risks and uncertainties Test assumptions Monitor relationship between surrogate and beneficiary species (trends, indices, vital rates, abundance etc.) Testing the linkage between the surrogate species and species represented This step is not testing management efficacy.

21 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Investigate to Validate the Surrogate If information to gauge effectiveness is unavailable: What sources of information may be used? Can models assist with efficacy? What research could derive the information? Does adaptive management have applicability here? Do all species in the ecosystem require monitoring? Could monitoring objectives be combined? What related questions do you have?

22 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Considerations After acquiring information to test the relationships, one may need to go back to select new or different surrogates to represent all priority species.

23 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Conserving the Nature of America Questions (Clarifying the Process)

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