Science Advisory Report 2007/039
Revised Protocol for Conducting Recovery Potential Assessments
Recovery Potential Assessments should routinely address the following tasks. In every case, the best science advice possible should be provided with the information that can be assembled and uncertainties taken into account.
Phase I: Assess current/recent species status
- Evaluate present species status for abundance, range and number of populations.
- Evaluate recent species trajectory for abundance, range, and number of populations.
- Estimate, to the extent that information allows, the current or recent life history parameters for the species (total mortality [Z], natural mortality [m], fecundity, maturity, recruitment, etc.) or reasonable surrogates, and associated uncertainties for all parameters.
- Address the separate terms of reference for describing and quantifying (to the extent possible) the habitat requirements and habitat use patterns of the species.
- Estimate expected population and distribution targets for recovery, according to DFO guidelines.
- Project expected population trajectories over three generations (or other biologically reasonable time), and trajectories over time to the recovery target (if possible to achieve), given current population dynamics parameters and associated uncertainties using DFO guidelines on long-term projections.
- Evaluate residence requirements for the species, if any.
Phase II: Scope for management to facilitate recovery.
- Assess the probability that the recovery targets can be achieved under current rates of population dynamics parameters, and how that probability would vary with different mortality (especially lower) and productivity (especially higher) parameters.
- Quantify to the extent possible the magnitude of each major potential source of mortality identified in the pre- Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Regional Advisory Process (RAP) and considering information in COSEWIC Status Report, from DFO sectors, and other sources.
- Quantify to the extent possible the likelihood that the current quantity and quality of habitat is sufficient to allow population increase, and would be sufficient to support a population that has reached its recovery targets (using the same methods as in step 4)
- Assess to the extent possible the magnitude by which current threats to habitats have reduced habitat quantity and quality.
Phase III: Scenarios for mitigation and alternative to activities
- Using input from all DFO sectors and other sources as appropriate, develop an inventory of all feasible measures to minimize/mitigate the impacts of activities that are threats to the species and its habitat (steps 9 and 11).
- Using input from all DFO sectors and other sources as appropriate, develop an inventory of all reasonable alternatives to the activities that are threats to the species and its habitat (steps 9 and 11), but with potential for less impact. (e.g. changing gear in fisheries causing bycatch mortality, relocation of activities harming habitat)
- Using input from all DFO sectors and other sources as appropriate, develop an inventory of all reasonable and feasible activities that could increase the productivity or survivorship parameters (steps 3 and 8).
- Estimate, to the extent possible, the reduction in mortality rate expected by each of the mitigation measures in step 12 or alternatives in step 13 and the increase in productivity or survivorship associated with each measure in step 14.
- Project expected population trajectory (and uncertainties) over three generations (or other biologically reasonable time), and to the time of reaching recovery targets when recovery is feasible; given mortality rates and productivities from 15 that are associated with specific scenarios identified for exploration. Include scenarios which provide as high a probability of survivorship and recovery as possible for biologically realistic parameter values.
- Recommend parameter values for population productivity and starting mortality rates, and where necessary, specialized features of population models that would be required to allow exploration of additional scenarios as part of the assessment of economic, social, and cultural impacts of listing the species.
- Date modified: