|Document Type:||Journal Article|
|Title:||A Practical Comparison of Viability Models Used for Management of Endangered and Threatened Anadromous Pacific Salmonids|
|Author:||D. S. Busch, Paul McElhany, M. H. Ruckelshaus, D. A. Boughton, T. Cooney, Peter W. Lawson, Steven T. Lindley, Michelle M. McClure, N. J. Sands, B. C. Spence, Thomas C. Wainwright, T. H. Williams|
|Journal:||North American Journal of Fisheries Management|
|Keywords:||population viability analysis, extinction risk, viability criteria, Pacific salmon, Endangered Species Act|
We ask if population viability analyses give similar estimates of extinction risk across management contexts. We compared the performance of population viability analyses developed by numerous scientific teams to estimate extinction risk of US Endangered Species Act-listed anadromous Pacific salmonids, challenging each with data from 34 populations. We found variation in estimated extinction risk among analytical techniques, driven by varying model assumptions and the inherent uncertainty of risk forecasts. This result indicates that the scientific teams developed techniques that perform differently. We recommend that managers minimize uncertainty in risk estimates by using multiple models tailored to local ecology. Assessment of relative extinction risk was less sensitive to model assumptions than absolute extinction risk, making it better for comparing population status and raising caution about conclusions regarding absolute extinction risk.