Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4724
Title: Is habitat restoration targeting relevant ecological needs for endangered species? Using Pacific Salmon as a case study
Author: K. Barnas, S. L. Katz, David E. Hamm, M. Diaz, Chris E. Jordan
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: Ecosphere
Volume: July
Issue: 7
Pages: art 110
Keywords: restoration,Pacific salmon,Ecological Concern,Limiting Factor,

 With 17 Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESU) and Distinct Population Segments (DPS) of Pacific salmonids listed under the Endangered Species Act in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, habitat restoration is widely implemented in hopes of achieving recovery goals. However, the need remains for a methodology to evaluate restoration compared with habitat assessments at scales relevant to recovery planning. We assessed whether (1) restoration matches ecological need at the sub-watershed scale within a salmon population for two ESUs and, (2) whether the restoration matches ecological need at the salmon population scale within all ESU/DPSs with available data. We compared completed restoration actions to ecological concerns found in habitat assessments (Columbia Cascade Ecoprovince subbasin plans and ESA salmon recovery plans) using an ecological concerns data dictionary.  For each spatial unit, we calculated Salmon Habitat Assessment and Project Evaluator (SHAPE) metric (-1 to 1), which measures the mismatch or match between projects and ecological concerns and looked at other factors influencing project choice including cost. Overall we found no correlation between an ecological concern’s frequency in habitat assessments and its frequency as a target of restoration, yet populations with more ecological concerns did contain more restoration effort (p < 0.05).  For both the sub-watersheds and salmon populations, projects were strongly biased towards less expensive types, suggesting that targeted restoration may be more expensive to implement than opportunistic projects. Further, a majority of sub-watersheds contained a suite of projects that matched ecological concerns no better, and often worse, than a random pick of an equal number of projects.  At the scale of a salmon population within an ESU/DPS, 84% populations received a good SHAPE score, above 0.6).  Our results present a very mixed picture of restoration implementation across the landscape and suggest that tangible gains in restoration effectiveness can be made.


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.