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Are Captive Breeding Programs for At-Risk Freshwater Fish and Mussels Effective At Achieving Conservation Targets in the Wild?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is providing $83,999, via the Partnership Fund, to learn more about the effectiveness of captive breeding programs at achieving conservation targets for freshwater species-at-risk (SAR) fish and mussels. This includes assessing whether success differs when re-establishing, maintaining, or increasing focal populations. Senior researchers at Carleton University and the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa along with team members from the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and Environmental Management seek to

  • Identify knowledge gaps and uncertainties relating to environmental, hatchery-based, and species-based factors influencing the effectiveness of captive breeding programs;
  • Characterize the ways in which studies evaluating effectiveness of captive breeding programs are conducted (to improve science quality);
  • Create a database of all pertinent literature which would be the most comprehensive source of what can be learned from 20+ years of global captive rearing programs for the recovery of imperiled freshwater fishes and mussels in Canada;
  • Develop a systematic review (SR) protocol which will be used to guide the full SR (will be submitted to the journal Environmental Evidence which is a part of this process).

Using the resulting systematic review of the screened literature, and associated database the researchers will undertake a meta-analysis, prepare a final report and policy brief.

Related links: Can conservation targets for imperilled freshwater fishes and mussels be achieved by captive breeding and release programs? A systematic map protocol to determine available evidence

Project Number: CA2016.50
Year: 2017, 2018
Partner: Carleton University
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Steven Cooke
Eco-region: Great Lakes

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