Application of Multiple-Population Viability Analysis to Evaluate Species Recovery Alternatives

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A recently developed method of multiple population viability analysis (MPVA) addresses many limitations of traditional PVA.

In a new paper, researchers build on MPVA for Lahontan cutthroat trout to simulate potential management scenarios for this broadly distributed, threatened fish. Scientists assessed management effects on population sizes and looked at extinction risks in 211 streams where these trout exist or may be reintroduced. Lahontan cutthroat trout that are managed for recovery tended to have lower extinction risks than non‐conservation populations, but not always; reprioritization may be warranted in some cases. While eliminating non‐native trout was sometimes effective, it did not always translate into lower extinction risks. Researchers also applied MPVA to estimate reintroduction success, which may help in developing protocols and prioritizing habitats for future reintroductions. MPVA can be applicable to other species with multiple isolated populations where it is difficult to collect data for traditional PVA, such as the American pika or greater sage-grouse.


Neville, H.M., Leasure, D.R., Dauwalter, D.C., Dunham, J.B., Bjork, R., Fesenmyer, K.A., Chelgren, N.D., Peacock, M.M., Luce, C.H., Isaak, D.J., Carranza, L., Sjoberg, J., Wenger, S.J., 2019, Application of multiple-population viability analysis to evaluate species recovery alternatives: Conservation Biology,

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Date published: November 20, 2017
Status: Active

Aquatic & Landscape Ecology Research Team (FRESC)

Fresh waters are one of the most valuable and threatened resources worldwide. They supply critical services to society and harbor many of the world’s most imperiled species. We conduct research and provide technical assistance to address challenges to fresh waters. Our research focuses on ecological processes in freshwater and terrestrial systems and the effects of those processes on landscape...