Endangered Species Act listing: three case studies of data deficiencies and consequences of ESA 'threatened' listing on research output

M.W. Weijerman, C. Birkeland, G.A. Piniak, M.W. Miller, C.M. Eakin, P. McElhany, M.J. Dunlap, M. Patterson, R.E. Brainard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Determining whether a species warrants listing as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act depends on the government's assessment of the species' extinction risk, usually in response to a petition. Deciding whether data are sufficient to make a listing determination is a challenging part of the process. We examined three case studies involving corals. A petition for deep-sea corals was rejected for full status review of the species, based on insufficient information on population trends and threats. Information on threats for 82 tropical corals was sufficient to propose listing of 66 species. Significant population declines and identified threats resulted in listing two Atlantic Acropora corals as 'Threatened'. There was no decrease in journal publication rate on the Acropora species after that listing, and no decrease in research permit applications in marine protected areas. However, the effects of listings on research that might help to sustain or recover species remains largely unknown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • region-wide declines
  • deep-sea corals
  • climate-change
  • reefs

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