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A Structured approach to incidental take decision making

January 1, 2013

Decision making related to incidental take of endangered species under U.S. law lends itself well to a structured decision making approach. Incidental take is the permitted killing, harming, or harassing of a protected species under the law as long as that harm is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity and does not “reduce appreciably the probability of survival and recovery in the wild.” There has been inconsistency in the process used for determining incidental take allowances across species and across time for the same species, and structured decision making has been proposed to improve decision making. I use an example decision analysis to demonstrate the process and its applicability to incidental take decisions, even under significant demographic uncertainty and multiple, competing objectives. I define the example problem, present an objectives statement and a value function, use a simulation model to assess the consequences of a set of management actions, and evaluate the tradeoffs among the different actions. The approach results in transparent and repeatable decisions.

Publication Year 2013
Title A Structured approach to incidental take decision making
DOI 10.1007/s00267-012-9981-8
Authors Conor P. McGowan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Management
Index ID 70150328
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta