Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Chapter or Section
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 1737
Type of Book: Technical
Section or Chapter Title: Captive breeding and the Evolutionarily Significant Unit
Book Title: The encyclopedia of biodiversity, second edition
Author: Robin S. Waples
Editor: Simon A. Levin (Ed.)
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier. Oxford, United Kingdom
Volume: 1
Pages: 668-673
Keywords: salmon, artificial propagation, Endangered Species Act, distinct population segment,

Recent efforts to conserve biodiversity below the species level have been guided by the concept of Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs)—populations or groups of populations that contribute substantially to the evolutionary legacy of the species as a whole.  A variety of published frameworks for defining ESUs exist, but all focus on identifying evolutionary lineages.  Captive breeding programs for endangered species can present special challenges to ESU evaluations, particularly when legal protection depends on ESU membership.  An alternative ESU framework that focuses on current ecological context rather than evolutionary lineages provides a novel way of thinking about captive-wild systems. 

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Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding and Sustainability of Marine and Anadromous Species
Foci: Describe the relationship among human activities and species stock status, recovery, rebuilding and sustainability.
Maximize effectiveness and minimize impacts of artificial propagation in recovery, rebuilding and stock sustainability