Conservation decisions under pressure: Lessons from an exercise in rapid response to wildlife disease

Conservation Science and Practice
By: , and 

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Abstract

Novel outbreaks of emerging pathogens require rapid responses to enable successful mitigation. We simulated a 1‐day emergency meeting where experts were engaged to recommend mitigation strategies for a new outbreak of the amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans . Despite the inevitable uncertainty, experts suggested and discussed several possible strategies. However, their recommendations were undermined by imperfect initial definitions of the objectives and scope of management. This problem is likely to arise in most real‐world emergency situations. The exercise thus highlighted the importance of clearly defining the context, objectives, and spatial–temporal scale of mitigation decisions. Managers are commonly under pressure to act immediately. However, an iterative process in which experts and managers cooperate to clarify objectives and uncertainties, while collecting more information and devising mitigation strategies, may be slightly more time consuming but ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Conservation decisions under pressure: Lessons from an exercise in rapid response to wildlife disease
Series title Conservation Science and Practice
DOI 10.1111/csp2.141
Volume 2
Issue 1
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Society for Conservation Biology
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description e141, 7 p.
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