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Monday, January 25 • 10:20am - 10:40am
A Risk Assessment Toolbox That Rapidly Supports Nonnative Species Risk Management

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AUTHORS: Michael H. Hoff*, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Bruce G. Marcot, U.S. Forest Service; Susan D. Jewell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Craig D. Martin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Carrie E. Givens, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Nonnative species ecological risk assessment is defined as characterization of risk to ecosystem structure and function. Risk screening is defined as rapid (completed within several hours) risk assessment. The U.S. National Invasive Species Management Plan (Plan) states that preventing the introduction and establishment of invasive species is the first-line of defense against species invasion. A key objective in that Plan is to prevent establishment of intentionally introduced invasive species by developing fair and practical screening processes, and modifying and incorporating screening results into agency and partner regulatory and non-regulatory programs. Three tools were developed and peer reviewed to characterize risk: 1) Ecological Risk Screening Summary (ERSS), which is a semi-quantitative, rapid-assessment procedure; 2) Freshwater Fish Invasive Species Risk Assessment (FISRAM), which is a quantitative probability network model, and 3) Risk Assessment Mapping Program (RAMP), which quantitatively matches a species climate niche with that in the U.S., and is used in both the ERSS and FISRAM processes. If the ERSS process, which is based on history of invasiveness and climate match, characterizes nonnative species risk as either low or uncertain, then risk characterization is complete. However, if ERSS characterizes risk as uncertain, then FISRAM is used to calculate the expected probability of invasiveness as a function of species potential establishment, spread, and harm, based on probable effects on native species and ecosystems, climate match, habitat suitability, ease of dispersal and transport, and harm to humans. These tools are being used for regulatory and non-regulatory risk management decision support by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and some partners.

Monday January 25, 2016 10:20am - 10:40am EST
Ambassador E