Ecological risk assessment of managed relocation as a climate change adaptation strategy
Description: Changing climate and introduced species are placing an increasing number of species at risk of extinction, fueling suggestions to protect species by relocating them to locations with more favorable biotic or climatic conditions. Managed relocation of species—also known as assisted dispersal or assisted migration—entails risks to both the organisms being moved and the recipient ecosystems. A recently published technical report, Ecological Risk Assessment of Managed Relocation as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/managed-relocation.htm) and an accompanying worksheet describe risk-assessment protocols to help evaluate the ecological risks of species managed relocation as part of planning and decision making. The risk analysis process does not dictate a decision; rather, the protocols and accompanying spreadsheet seek to help a decision maker structure a process to inform decisions. The report includes four case study applications evaluating the ecological risks of managed relocation of bull trout, Karner blue butterfly, giant sequoia, and Pitcher’s thistle.
Presenters: MARK SCHWARTZ, UC-Davis, is a conservation scientist who works on a range of issues related to climate change, endangered species, and decision-making in natural resource management. He is professor emeritus in Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis and the Editor-in-Chief of Conservation Science and Practice.
AVIV KARASOV-OLSON, UC-Davis, is a PhD candidate in ecology. Her research focuses on conservation, climate change, & collaborative management within social-ecological systems, particularly involving migratory waterfowl.
JESSICA HELLMANN, University of Minnesota, is a professor of Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior and executive director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.
SARAH SKIKNE, University of Minnesota, is a TNC NatureNet Fellow at UM’s Institute on the Environment. She focuses on strategies to promote species persistence and ecosystem integrity.