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Tuesday, January 26 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Priority Refuge Resources of Concern as a Bottom-Up Approach To Surrogate Species Selection

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AUTHORS: Dan Salas, Cardno*; Patricia Heglund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Kathy Carlyle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Over the past few years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working through the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC), has developed lists of surrogate species for conservation efforts within their geographic coverage. The goal for establishing surrogate species is to improve effectiveness of landscape conservation design and strategic habitat conservation actions that include protection, restoration, and management with a landscape focus. In late 2013, the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie Big Rivers LCC selected 21 surrogate species. In 2014, the Upper Midwest Great Lakes LCC selected a list of 36 surrogate species. For each geography, a suite of species for each broad habitat type (forests, palustrine wetlands, rivers, and others) was selected to represent components within each system, as well as other species or natural communities with similar conservation threats and population limiting factors. Each LCC has selected surrogate species through a structured approach based on regional needs, data availability, and application expectations. These selection methods generally rely on review of national or regional conservation plans combined with expert knowledge of individual species and relevant data available. In a similar manner, refuges managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System are required to identify and select priority resources of concern to act as focal (or surrogate) species when planning habitat management. Selection of refuge-scale priority resources of concern mirrors aspects of the surrogate species selection processes including: consideration of national/regional priorities, use of expert input or literature review, and selection of species that can be influenced by management and monitored accordingly. Because of the similarity in approaches being conducted at different scales, we were interested to see if the results of each selection mirrored or differed from each other (e.g. regional “top-down” approach from LCC’s, and local “bottom-up” approach from refuges). This session will describe these approaches, the comparison of results for a representative series of refuges, and what the similarities and differences tell us about surrogate or focal species selection.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
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Attendees (3)