Could strategically coordinated multi-species management—in collaboration with private landowners—result in more effective and less costly recovery of endangered species? Emerging research by the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability Solutions explores how at-risk species (candidate, petitioned, and endangered) are distributed in the southeastern United States. Specifically, are these species found in the same places or similar habitats? And do they coincide with urbanization, agriculture, or protected lands? Combined with ongoing analysis of alternative conservation tools under section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, the Nicholas Institute is beginning to explore new opportunities for proactive species management.
Protection of at-risk species in the southeastern United States offers an interesting test bed for an ecosystem management approach to ESA implementation. In this region, wildlife policy and water policy present an array of synergies and tradeoffs. Consideration of both types of policy within the context of regional ecosystem management during the ESA pre-compliance period could be the key to recovery for a massive number of species.
The Nicholas Institute is working to expand this work through additional analysis and collaboration, including:
- deepening the analysis of opportunities for multi-species management and the potential for leveraging existing institutions and programs;
- examining the economic and financial implications of pre-listing management actions for landowners; and
- exploring the potential benefits and approaches for data sharing across private landowners and public agencies which could improve listing decisions and pre-listing management strategies.