Evaluating risk and ranking species for action are separate tasks and separate concepts. For example, a species should still be listed at risk regardless of whether or not there is the means or political will to attempt recovery. Many criteria could be used to assign species to action categories and to rank species within an action category. We examine criteria that have been used in listing processes for species in Canada and other jurisdictions. We recommend six of these for ranking species for conservation action, providing a brief rationale for their utility. The six are: stewardship responsibility, trend, threat, contribution to genetic variability, feasibility, and vulnerability. Other criteria evaluated by various agencies or individuals also are examined and reasons for not attempting to apply them provided. A brief description of methodology for application is provided. We describe five classes of conservation action and illustrate how species occurring within British Columbia can be assigned to those classes.
We recognize three broad but disparate conservation goals:
1) maintaining all native species,
2) helping to sustain globally declining species and
3) keeping common species common.
Nationally, Canada has adapted the first, which has unfortunate consequences. A high proportion of species designated at risk within British Columbia or Canada are at the edge of their geographic range. Of the 151 SARA-listed taxa occurring in British Columbia, 73 (48%) have less than 10% of their global range in Canada and in British Columbia; 93 (62%) have less than 10% of their global range in the British Columbia. Of the 90 full species on Schedule 1 of SARA, 39 (44%) are of very low stewardship less than 2% global range within the province. Some are at risk for reasons other than local rarity, but others are not and are globally secure with no evident population declines anywhere. The approach illustrated allows one to rank species for conservation action, and potentially focus on those for which the province or nation has greater stewardship responsibility. It allows a broader range of commitment of resources once a species is designated at risk than is implied by SARA. As applied here it suggests that at least 42 of the 90 Schedule 1 species in British Columbia should not proceed directly to recovery actions. The approach also permits proactive responses instead of a constant game of catch up.
Fred L. Bunnell.
Bunnell, Fred L.. 2006. Refining conservation priorities in British Columbia: Forest Science Program final technical report. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Caribou, Habitat, British, Columbia, Effect, habitat, modification, on, Forest, management, Environmental, aspects, Endangered, Species
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