Strategic Habitat Conservation FAQs
The following are some key questions and responses about why and how the Service is changing.
Why does it make sense to adopt a Service-wide conservation and business framework?
We are losing species and their habitats at an alarming rate and need to clearly and strategically focus our resources and expertise on where we can have the greatest positive impact on fish, wildlife and plants for current and future generations.
To do so, we must:
How is Service-wide adoption of Strategic Habitat Conservation different from what we’re already doing?
Full adoption of Strategic Habitat Conservation as framework for the FWS should;
What were the results of the peer review process of the Draft Technical Guidance on Selecting Species for Landscape Conservation?
An external peer review was conducted to consider the scientific quality and credibility of the Draft Technical Guidance on Selecting Species for Landscape Conservation. The peer review report indicated need for significant reorganization and better focus and recommended a more thorough analysis of the literature on the different uses of surrogates, including their success and failures to achieve intended conservation goals. The final peer review report and our response is available.
The end result of the peer review process is that the Service rewrote the draft technical guidance as a non-prescriptive technical reference document to be used as a tool where appropriate.
How can the Technical Reference on Selecting Species for Landscape Conservation help me?
The Technical Reference is designed to help employees and partners understand the strengths and limitations of a surrogate species approach. The document provides a common understanding of the concepts, terms and definitions associated with surrogate species. It also uses real world examples to help explain when this approach can best be applied, summarizes published and unpublished literature, and recognizes other approaches can be used to set science-based priorities with our partners. The reference document concludes with a discussion of the various monitoring and evaluation methodologies that are available to assess the effectiveness of surrogate species.
You can download a copy of the Technical Reference on Selecting Species for Landscape Scale Conservation.
By recasting the guidance as a technical reference document, we hope to give employees across the agency the green light to innovate and experiment. This is, after all, the way scientific advances are made. To that end, the Service is supporting the creation of a community of practice among landscape conservation professionals, and helping the agency function as a learning organization that constantly improves its methods and practices.
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