Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Virginia Project

Development of a structured decision-making framework to guide translocation of imperiled aquatic species in the Roanoke and Dan river basins

August 2018 - October 2020


Participating Agencies

  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Translocation of wild or propagated animals is a potential tactic for mitigating extinction risks for several imperiled species in the Roanoke and Dan river basins (RDRB). Biologists must weigh the risks associated with a suite of linked decisions when considering translocation as a recovery tool. These decisions could be made more quickly, objectively, and transparently if based on criteria that were previously agreed-upon by species experts and pre-approved by management agencies. Project outcomes will include optimized translocation strategies for four focal species, as well as an interactive decision-support tool that can be used to weigh risks and predict likely outcomes of selected translocation scenarios for many other aquatic species. The project is a collaboration among USGS, Georgia Southern University, and Virginia Tech.
(1) convene stakeholders to identify conservation goals, objectives, actions, and performance measures,
so success can be measured under alternative actions;
(2) synthesize stakeholder input and best available data regarding relationships between potential actions
and performance measures;
(3) develop demographic models to forecast conservation outcomes under alternative actions;
(4) use the models to recommend optimal strategies for meeting species-specific conservation objectives.