Out this month in PLoS ONE, our paper providing a simple and accessible framework for deciding whether to translocate species threatened by climate change.
How to decide whether to move species threatened by climate change Tracy M. Rout, Eve McDonald-Madden, Tara G. Martin, Nicola J. Mitchell, Hugh P. Possingham, and Doug P. Armstrong http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0075814
Introducing species to areas outside their historical range to secure their future under climate change is a controversial strategy for preventing extinction. While the debate over the wisdom of this strategy continues, such introductions are already taking place. Previous frameworks for analysing the decision to introduce have lacked a quantifiable management objective and mathematically rigorous problem formulation. Here we develop the first rigorous quantitative framework for deciding whether or not a particular introduction should go ahead, which species to prioritize for introduction, and where and how to introduce them. It can also be used to compare introduction with alternative management actions, and to prioritise questions for future research. We apply the framework to a case study of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) in New Zealand. While simple and accessible, this framework can accommodate uncertainty in predictions and values. It provides essential support for the existing IUCN guidelines by presenting a quantitative process for better decision-making about conservation introductions.
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