Structuring Decisions for Managing Threatened and Endangered Species in a Changing Climate

Robin Gregory, Joseph Arvai, Leah Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The management of endangered species under climate change is a challenging and often controversial task that incorporates input from a variety of different environmental, economic, social, and political interests. Yet many listing and recovery decisions for endangered species unfold on an ad hoc basis without reference to decision-aiding approaches that can improve the quality of management choices. Unlike many treatments of this issue, which consider endangered species management a science-based problem, we suggest that a clear decision-making process is equally necessary. In the face of new threats due to climate change, managers' choices about endangered species require closely linked analyses and deliberations that identify key objectives and develop measurable attributes, generate and compare management alternatives, estimate expected consequences and key sources of uncertainty, and clarify trade-offs across different dimensions of value. Several recent cases of endangered species conservation decisions illustrate our proposed decision-focused approach, including Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) recovery framework development, Cultus Lake sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) management, and Upper Columbia River white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) recovery planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1221
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Collaborative decision making
  • Environmental management
  • Recovery choices
  • Stakeholders
  • Value trade-offs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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