When Should We Move Species Outside Their Range as Islands CHange?

Taking Smart Risks and Making Good Decisions

American Sāmoa | Wednesday, June 26 from 1:00-2:15 p.m.Hawaiʻi | Wednesday, June 26 from 2:00-3:15 p.m.Palau | Thursday, June 27 from 9:00-10:15 a.m.CNMI & Guam | Thursday, June 27 from 10:00-11:15 a.m.FSM | Thursday, June 27 from 10:00-11:15 a.m. (Weno) / 11:00 am-12:15 p.m. (Palikir)RMI | Thursday, June 27 from 12:00-1:15 p.m.

 A Webinar Via Zoom By the Pacific Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change Management Network (Pacific RISCC)

Webinar Details:


When should we move species outside their range as islands change? Taking Smart Risks and Making Good Decisions

Webinar Description:

Climate change is rapidly altering ecosystems. Plants and animals vary in their ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change, with many already facing increased risk of extinction as ecosystem change outpaces species’ ability to adapt. Climate change can also amplify threats to wildlife and ecosystems by exacerbating habitat loss, disease prevalence, and the spread of invasive species. In the face of these impacts, the conservation community faces increasingly challenging conservation decisions to preserve biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

While there are many tools available for conservation practitioners to use in their work, conservation introduction is one that can be controversial. Conservation introduction is the intentional movement and release or outplanting of a species outside its indigenous range for the purpose of conservation. The decision whether or not to pursue a conservation introduction is complex. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service developed the Decision Support Framework for Conservation Introductions to help conservation practitioners make inclusive, transparent, and defensible decisions about when to use conservation introductions as a strategy to achieve conservation goals. Risk assessment is a central component of the framework, where uncertainty in predicted outcomes, such as the introduced species becoming invasive, are explicitly considered as part of the decision process.

This non-regulatory framework was developed with input from a wide range of partners and agency personnel across the Pacific Islands and Pacific Northwest. The framework recommends the formation of a team comprised of partners, interested parties, and subject-matter specialists, to work through the steps and support mutual learning and creative problem-solving. Both ecological and social objectives, including local and Indigenous community values related to the decision, are key considerations in the decision process.

This webinar will describe the framework, the process used to develop it, and the expanded emphasis on early engagement with a broad range of interested parties. This deliberative engagement throughout the process will be key to understanding relative risks of, and social support for, the available conservation options.

Speaker details:

Dr. Jeff Burgett has been with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Science Applications Division in the Pacific Islands since 2010, and is currently Conservation Coordinator. He is responsible for a team that supports other FWS programs and partners in adapting their operations and decisions to address global change, by developing science products and decision processes. Jeff has worked for the Service in Hawaiʻi since 1995 for Ecological Services, Refuges, and now Science Applications, focused on wetlands, endangered species recovery, invasive species and avian disease, coral reef monitoring, and climate change. He has a BA and Ph.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi, and an MSc from the University of Auckland, all with a focus on marine ecology.


USFWS. 2024. A Decision Support Framework for Conservation Introductions: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region. Pacific Region Conservation Introductions Working Group, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.