New tool helps prioritize species recovery efforts

An algorithm looked at conservation efforts to recover species at risk, including the swift fox (Vulpes velox). ©Ryan Moehring/USFWS

A new tool developed by Canadian researchers seeks to direct limited conservation dollars to where they would save the most species per dollar. Researchers from the University of British Columbia and Environment and Climate Change Canada applied the tool to 15 species at risk in southwestern Saskatchewan. The mathematical equation is designed to help determine the cost of recovery, how many species could be recovered under a given budget and which species face the steepest challenges. They found that with minimal species management only two of the 15 species would probably recover, but with a few suggested management strategies, 13 were likely to meet recovery goals.

Read the open access paper in Conservation Letters.