Conservation-reliant species are animal or plant species that require continuing species-specific wildlife management intervention such as predator control, habitat management and parasite control to survive, even when a self-sustainable recovery in population is achieved.
The term "conservation-reliant species" grew out of the conservation biology undertaken by The Endangered Species Act at Thirty Project (launched 2001) and its popularization by project leader J. Michael Scott. Its first use in a formal publication was in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment in 2005. Worldwide use of the term has not yet developed and it has not yet appeared in a publication compiled outside North America.
Passages of the 1973
The criteria for assessing whether a species is conservation-reliant are:
- Threats to the species’ continued existence are known and treatable.
- The threats are pervasive and recurrent, for example: nest parasites, non-native predators, human disturbance.
- The threats render the species at risk of extinction, absent ongoing conservation management.
- Management actions sufficient to counter threats have been identified and can be implemented, for example: prescribed fires, restrictions on grazing or public access, predator or parasite control.
- National, state or local governments, often in cooperation with private or tribal interests, are capable of carrying out the necessary management actions as long as necessary.
There are five major areas of management action for conservation of vulnerable species:
- Control of other species may include: control of parasites and disease.
- Control of direct human impacts may include control of grazing, human access, on and off-road vehicles, low impact recreation and illegal collecting and poaching.
- Pollution control may include control of chemical run-off, siltation, water quality and use of pesticides and herbicides.
- Artificial population recruitment may include captive propagation (forced immigration) or captive breeding.
A prominent example is in
Recognizing the conservation reliance of tigers, Project Tiger is establishing a national science-based framework for monitoring tiger population trends in order to manage the species more effectively. India now has 28 tiger reserves, located in 17 states. These reserves cover 37,761 square kilometres (14,580 sq mi) including 1.14% of the total land area of the country. These reserves are kept free of biotic disturbances, forestry operations, collection of minor forest products, grazing and human disturbance. The populations of tigers in these reserves now constitute some of the most important tiger source populations in the country.
The magnitude and pace of human impacts on the environment make it unlikely that substantial progress will be made in delisting many species unless the definition of "recovery" includes some form of active management. Preventing delisted species from again being at risk of extinction may require continuing, species-specific management actions. Viewing "recovery" of "conservation-reliant species" as a continuum of phases rather than a simple "recovered/not recovered" status may enhance the ability to manage such species within the framework of the Endangered Species Act. With ongoing
It has been proposed that development of "recovery management agreements", with legally and biologically defensible contracts would provide for continuing conservation management following delisting. The use of such formalized agreements will facilitate shared management responsibilities between federal wildlife agencies and other federal agencies, and with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as with private entities that have demonstrated the capability to meet the needs of conservation-reliant species.
- Conservation biology
- Conservation-dependent species
- Conservation ethic
- Conservation movement
- Ecology movement
- Environmental movement
- Environmental protection
- Habitat conservation
- List of environmental organizations
- Natural environment
- Natural capital
- Natural resource
- Renewable resource
- Sustainable development
- Water conservation
- J. Michael Scott, US Geological Survey; Dale Goble, University of Idaho Law School (December 2008). "Endangered Species and Other Conservation Reliant Species". 9th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment (Washington, D.C.). NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Archived from the original on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- Conservation Reliant Species: Our New Relationship with Nature
- Scott, J. Michael Scott; Dale Goble; Aaron Haines (August 21, 2008). "Conservation Reliant Species:Our New Relationship with Nature?" (PDF). CSP3900 Conservation Science Web Conference Series. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- R Maraj, J Seidensticker (2006). "Assessment of a Framework for Monitoring Tiger Population Trends in India" (PDF). A Report to the IUCN: World Conservation Union and India's Project Tiger. Govt. of India, Project Tiger. pp. 7–9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-22.