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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Welcome!

First, we ask that you identify yourself as well as the candidate taxon (genus, species, subspecies, population, etc.) to be evaluated. If you would like your responses recorded in the Move It database (available as a free download), we ask that you also provide contact information (note that recent entries are not immediately available in the public database).


Define Candidate Taxon
(Users that do not wish to submit to the database should answer only questions a and b)

Users that do not wish to submit to the database should skip to the instructions below.

INSTRUCTIONS

The Move It questionnaire is easy to use- just follow these instructions.

The Move It survey consists of 13 questions, organized in the Hoegh-Guldberg et al. (2008) framework, that solicit key information for making decisions about assisted colonization. Each question is accompanied by a list of key issues to consider, with links to relevant information and resources. For each question, you may rank your candidate taxon from -2 (indicating that the candidate taxon is less amenable to assisted colonization) to +2 (indicating that the candidate taxon is more amenable to assisted colonization). If you are uncertain about how to score your candidate taxon, take an educated guess or leave the question blank. We provide a comment space for each question, where you can clarify your score, indicate your level of uncertainty, or suggest a change to future versions of Move It.

After you finish the questionnaire, Move It summarizes your results and provides a recommendation.

Category 1: Need for assisted colonization

In this section you will be asked to consider the following:
1A. CURRENT STATUS OF THE CANDIDATE TAXON
1B. THREAT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
1C. DISPERSAL ABILITY OF THE CANDIDATE TAXON:
1D. EVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL OF THE CANDIDATE TAXON

For each question, rank your candidate taxon from -2 (less amenable for assisted colonization) to +2 (more amenable for assisted colonization)

1A. CURRENT STATUS OF CANDIDATE TAXON: What is the likelihood that the candidate taxon will persist in its current range (independent of potential climate change)?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Current population trends or demographic trajectory for the candidate taxon. What is the trend in realized reproductive rate of the candidate taxon? Has a population viability analysis been done for the candidate taxon?
  • Is the candidate taxon listed as endangered, threatened or vulnerable at state, federal, or international levels?
Candidate taxon is self-sustaining over the long term and does not require conservation action.

 
Candidate taxon is currently declining but retains sufficient numbers for short-term sustainability. Alternatively, the candidate taxon is listed as threatened or vulnerable at state, federal, or international levels.
 
Candidate taxon is not currently sustainable without active conservation efforts. Alternatively, the candidate taxon is listed as endangered at federal or international levels.
1B. THREAT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE: How vulnerable is the candidate taxon, in situ, to predicted climate change, without dispersal or evolution?

Before you respond, consider...

  • The degree of climatic change predicted to occur in the current range of the candidate taxon. What is the degree of climatic change (temperature, precipitation, pH or salinity) predicted in the current range of the candidate taxon? Will the candidate taxon lose habitat due to climate change?
  • The physiological and ecological tolerance of the candidate taxon to changes in climate. How tolerant (physiologically/ecologically) is the candidate taxon to changes in climate? Does the candidate taxon have very limited physiological tolerances (heat stress, water stress) that the predicted amount climate change will exceed? Is there evidence that the candidate taxon is not phenotypically plastic (especially with respect to phenology)? Are the food sources of the candidate taxon likely to be affected by the predicted amount of climate change?
The degree of predicted climate change is not likely to exceed the tolerance of the candidate taxon.

 
The degree of predicted climate change is approximately within the tolerance limits of the candidate taxon
 
The degree of predicted climate change vastly exceeds the tolerance of the candidate taxon
1C. DISPERSAL ABILITY OF CANDIDATE TAXON: What is the likelihood that the candidate taxon will disperse to track its moving bioclimatic envelope?

Before you respond, consider...

  • The capacity of the candidate taxon to move relative to the movement rate of its bioclimatic envelope. Is there any evidence supporting the ability of the candidate taxon to track its bioclimatic envelope?
  • Significant natural or anthropogenic barriers that may obstruct the candidate taxon from tracking its bioclimatic envelope.
Capacity of the candidate taxon to move (distance) far exceeds distance required to keep up with its bioclimatic envelope. No significant barriers exist that should prevent the candidate taxon from tracking its bioclimatic envelope

 
.
 
Capacity of the candidate taxon to move (distance) falls far short of distance required to keep up with its bioclimatic envelope, or bioclimatic envelope is predicted to disappear. Many significant barriers exist preventing the candidate taxon from tracking its bioclimatic envelope
1D. EVOLUTIONARY POTENTIAL OF CANDIDATE TAXON: What is the likelihood that the candidate taxon will adapt, in situ, to the changing climate?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Characteristic generation time of the candidate taxon? Short generation time (<3 years) generally increases adaptation potential relative to longer generation times.
  • Effective population size. Large inter-connected populations of reproductive individuals (>5000 individuals) generally have higher adaptation potential than small, isolated populations.
  • Do populations of the candidate taxon have unusually low genetic diversity? High genetic diversity generally increases adaptation potential relative to lower genetic diversity.
  • Is it conceivable that management could be used to increase adaptation potential for the candidate taxon? (e.g., introduction of warm-adapted genes, in situ habitat management to create refugia) and facilitate a transition to a novel selective regime
The candidate taxon is likely to adapt to anticipated climate change in situ without conservation action.

 
Candidate taxon may adapt to anticipated climate change in situ without conservation action.
 
Candidate taxon lacks the adaptation potential necessary to adapt to anticipated climate change in situ.

Category 2: Technical feasibility of assisted colonization

In this section you will be asked to consider the following:
2A. COLONIZATION POTENTIAL OF THE CANDIDATE TAXON
2B. AVAILABILITY OF SOURCE POPULATIONS
2C. AVAILABILITY OF RELEASE SITES

For each question, rank your candidate taxon from -2 (less amenable for assisted colonization) to +2 (more amenable for assisted colonization);

2A. COLONIZATION POTENTIAL OF CANDIDATE TAXON: What is suitability of the candidate taxon for successful translocation?

Before you respond, consider...

  • How well are habitat needs understood for the candidate taxon? Are the habitat needs of the taxon sufficiently understood to identify suitable habitat outside its current range?
  • Is the candidate taxon a habitat generalist or opportunist? Does the taxon in question require specific edaphic and climatic conditions that do not exist outside its current range OR is the taxon in question more of a habitat generalist? Does the taxon require strong community interactions such as mutualisms and commensalisms OR is the taxon generally considered an opportunist, at home in a wide range of ecological communities?
  • Is the candidate taxon likely to quickly and easily colonize suitable release sites? Have translocations or reintroductions been previously attempted for this taxon? If so, have these efforts been highly or partially successful? Does the intrinsic biology of the taxon (e.g. r-selection vs. K-selection, ease of locating mates and sources of food, ability to identify novel sources of food, ability to locate hibernacula, etc) suggest a slow, difficult colonization with multiple attempts at translocation OR a rapid successful colonization?
  • Is the candidate taxon equipped to handle potential threats at release sites? Are predators, diseases, or parasites at potential release sites likely to pose a threat to successful colonization? Has the candidate taxon co-evolved with local predators/diseases/parasites, and if not with the evolutionary naivety benefit or impair the translocation attempt?
Taxon has little or no chance (<10%) of successfully establishing at potential translocation sites due to narrow ecological tolerance

 
Taxon has a reasonable (approximately 40-60%) chance of successfully establishing at one or more potential translocation sites, but is likely to present unforeseen challenges and substantial time, resources and expertise. May require multiple introductions and/or substantial post-introduction management
 
2B. AVAILABILITY OF SOURCE POPULATIONS: Are there viable source(s) of organisms/propagules available for translocation?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Can a large number of individuals be removed from existing wild populations? Are source populations too small to permit permanent removal of sufficient animals to avoid severe population bottlenecks at translocation site(s) OR do multiple robust populations exist from which a substantial number of healthy individuals can be drawn (500+ organisms may be necessary to ensure long-term population viability and evolutionary potential)?
  • Are wild source populations healthy and diverse? Are wild source populations healthy, resistant to common diseases, and genetically or phenotypically diverse? If source populations are currently afflicted by disease, would it be feasible to restore health to select individuals (through medication/quarantine) prior to translocation?
  • Potential for the candidate taxon to be bred and raised in captivity. Has the candidate taxon been successfully propagated in captivity? Will captively bred "source populations" harbor the disease resistance and genetic/phenotypic diversity necessary for successful translocation?

 
Healthy, robust stock is limited or unavailable. Remaining wild or captive source populations are too small to enable removal of an ideal number of individuals, genetically depauperate or otherwise potentially problematic for establishment at intended translocation site(s)
 
Multiple (>20) healthy (abundant, genetically diverse) wild or captive source populations remain from which to draw organisms or propagules
2C. AVAILABILITY OF RELEASE SITES: Are there suitable release sites available?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Can high-quality natural release sites be identified? How much suitable habitat area is available within a projected future bioclimatic envelope for the candidate taxon?
  • Can high-quality release sites be established through habitat management or artificial habitat creation? Might suitable habitat be created outside the current range of the candidate taxon through management (e.g., prescribed fire, artificial hibernacula, artificial wetlands)? Has artificial habitat manipulation been successful in improving population viability within its current range?
  • Parasite, pathogen, and predator threats at release sites. Can we address primary pathogen and/or parasite concerns at translocation sites through management?
  • Are potential release sites protected from development? Who owns potential release sites? Are potential release sites protected from development and other anthropogenic pressures? Would new reserves need to be set aside for this project?
No viable translocation sites exist at present and creation of artificial habitat areas to support the taxon would be prohibitively expensive or time-consuming

 
Suitable spaces to which the species can be moved are available, but available sites are not substantially more likely than sites within the current range of the taxon to remain suitable under projected future climate change scenarios. Habitat manipulation and frequent habitat maintenance is probably necessary to ensure the continued survival of the taxon at translocation sites
 
Suitable natural translocation sites are readily available, and many potential sites are likely to be able to support the taxon of interest in the foreseeable future (even under severe climate change scenarios). Alternatively, habitat manipulation and maintenance can be used to reliably ensure the long-term sustainability of the taxon outside of its current range

Category 3: Biological / socioeconomical costs versus benefits of assisted colonization

In this section you will be asked to consider the following:
3A. ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS ON RELEASE SITES
3B. UNIQUENESS OF CANDIDATE TAXON
3C. PUBLIC SUPPORT
3D. IMPACT ON LOCAL ECONOMY
3E. REGULATORY HURDLES
3F. RESOURCE AVAILABILITY

For each question, rank your candidate taxon from -2 (less amenable for assisted colonization) to +2 (more amenable for assisted colonization);

3A. ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS: What is the expected net impact of the candidate taxon on the release site ecosystem?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Potential for candidate taxon to alter ecological processes at release sites. Is the candidate taxon considered a "keystone species", or is it otherwise likely to be an agent of ecological change at release sites? Is organism likely to affect successional processes, water uptake, soil formation, nutrient cycling, pollination, and or predator/prey relationships?
  • Potential for candidate taxon to become invasive or displace native biota. Is there a substantial risk of the candidate taxon becoming invasive at release sites? Is the candidate taxon likely to displace biota native to release sites? Are native species evolutionarily naive to the candidate taxon, and might this naivete confer competitive advantage upon introduced organisms (e.g., candidate taxon is not recognized by local predators, or local prey ("sitting ducks") fail to recognize the candidate taxon as a predator)?
  • Potential for candidate taxon to introduce disease or facilitate disease spread at release sites.
Candidate taxon is likely to bring about undesirable ecological change at release sites, impacting ecosystem productivity or endemic diversity

Net ecosystem impact is likely neutral.
Candidate taxon is likely to bring about desirable ecological change at release sites (e.g. enhanced ecosystem stability or resilience, enhance erosion control, provide pollination services, carbon storage, regulating populations at lower trophic levels)
3B. UNIQUENESS OF CANDIDATE TAXON: Is the candidate taxon phylogenetically unique?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Unique evolutionary history embodied by the candidate taxon. How much unique evolutionary history is embodied by the candidate taxon? (See Redding and Mooers 2006, Faith 2008 for more details)
  • Threats to extant sister taxa to the candidate taxon. What is the conservation status of extant sister taxa to the candidate taxon. Are sister taxa in decline or facing substantial extinction risk?
Candidate taxon embodies a relatively brief evolutionary history (e.g., an ecotype within a species or subspecies)

Candidate taxon embodies a moderate degree of evolutionary history (e.g., a unique species with multiple closely-related sister taxa)
Candidate taxon embodies an ancient and threatened evolutionary lineage (e.g., candidate taxon one of two species in its genus, the other of which also faces severe extinction risks)
3C. PUBLIC SUPPORT: What is the social perception of the candidate taxon at release site?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Public perception of candidate taxon. Is the candidate taxon highly valued by the general public? Is this a charismatic organism that will garner public support? Is the candidate taxon a perceived threat to the public?
  • Potential ethical concerns about assisted colonization. Do release sites fall within the former/historic (i.e. 500 years) range of the candidate taxon? Are certain stake-holder groups likely to be disproportionately affected by assisted colonization of the candidate taxon?
Perceived threats to life and property and ethical concerns vastly outweigh public support for assisted colonization.

Public support is likely neutral.
Public support for translocation efforts vastly outweighs perceived threats and ethical concerns
3D. IMPACT ON LOCAL ECONOMY: What impact will the candidate taxon have on the local economy at release site?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Potential for candidate taxon to provide services that could enhance economic prosperity. Some potential services include pollination, food production, sightseeing attraction, etc.
  • Potential for candidate taxon to disrupt services important for economic prosperity at release sites. Some services that could potentially be disrupted include agricultural production, hunting game species, human health and safety.
Candidate taxon may strongly disrupt local economic productivity

Candidate taxon provides no net costs or benefits to local economy
Candidate taxon provides significant benefit to local economy
3E. REGULATORY HURDLES: For this candidate taxon, how much regulation would assisted colonization encounter?

Before you respond, consider...

  • Current laws prohibiting translocation of the candidate taxon. Are there laws at local, state, federal, or international levels that prohibit translocation of this species?
  • Regulations requiring special permits for handling or translocating the candidate taxon. Are special permits required to handle and/or translocate this species? If so, how difficult and/or costly would it be to obtain necessary permits?
Existing laws and regulations prohibit translocation of this taxon

Procurement of relevant permits is not assured or will require substantial investments of time and resources
No permit is required to translocate this taxon. Alternatively, permit(s) are trivial to obtain
3F. RESOURCE AVAILABILITY: How great are the costs of assisted colonization relative to available grants and funds?

Before you respond, consider...

  • What resources will be necessary to undertake assisted colonization? Potential resources include material, financial or manpower resources.
  • What resources are currently available for assisted colonization? Potential resources include material, financial or manpower resources.
  • Will existing agencies or organizations be willing to contribute funds or resources towards assisted colonization?
Insufficient funds and resources to offset costs

Available or potential funds and resources may suffice to offset costs
Available funds and resources will easily offset costs