Quantifying threats to improve species recovery

Quantifying threats to improve species recovery

Understanding the temporal variation of threats that cause species endangerment is key to development of conservation strategies to improve species recovery. We assessed temporal variation of threats identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service in their listing decisions to justify species protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). We identified six overarching threat categories and evaluated how the number of these threats and the probability of including a given threat in a listing decision changed between 1975 and 2018. We then compared threat analysis between recovered species and species still protected under the ESA. We discuss our findings in relation to policies and management strategies and provide recommendations for species recovery efforts.