Authorship and the use of biological information in endangered species recovery plans

L. R. Gerber, C. B. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We examined the relationship between authorship and the use of biological information in recovery plans under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Approximately one-third of recovery plans were written solely by federal government employees, and one-third of plans included authors with university affiliations. The number of plans written strictly by federal staff increased significantly over time, whereas the percentage of plans that included authors with university affiliation remained unchanged. We tested three hypotheses posed by Clark et al. (1994) regarding authorship and endangered species recovery and found that (1) groups of authors from diverse affiliations are likely to strengthen the recovery planning process, (2) recovery plans lacking nonfederal participation suffer from inadequate attention to species biology, and (3) academic affiliation is strongly associated with the use of focal-species biology in recovery plans. Our results suggest that modifying the choice of participants in the recovery planning process may increase the use of biological information in recovery measures recommended in recovery plans and thus influence the eventual success of recovery efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1314
Number of pages7
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 25 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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