Working Paper

Best Available Science and Imperiled Species Conservation: Challenges, Opportunities, and Partnerships

Abstract

This document reports on a March 2015 dialogue among businesses, NGOs, and federal and state conservation agencies focused on Endangered Species Act listing decisions and programs in the southeastern United States. Over the next decade, a large fraction of the nation’s species listing decisions will be made in the Southeast, where a large number of aquatic species may be at risk. Also, private sector land and water use plays a particularly important role in both potential threats to species and opportunities for conservation and recovery in the region. Participants described the volume and timing of Region 4 listing decisions, identified science gaps pertinent to those decisions, identified ways to maximize the decision relevance and benefits of science investment given limited financial resources and tight time frames, and assessed the possibility and virtues of science collaboration within the private sector and between the private sector and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.