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Conservation decisions under pressure: Lessons from an exercise in rapid response to wildlife disease

Canessa, Stefano, Spitzen‐van der Sluijs, Annemarieke, Stark, Tariq, Allen, Bryony E., Bishop, Phillip J., Bletz, Molly, Briggs, Cheryl J., Daversa, David R., Gray, Matthew J., Griffiths, Richard A., and others. (2019) Conservation decisions under pressure: Lessons from an exercise in rapid response to wildlife disease. Conservation Science and Practice, 2 (1). Article Number 141. ISSN 2578-4854. (doi:10.1111/csp2.141) (KAR id:79262)

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Novel outbreaks of emerging pathogens require rapid responses to enable successful mitigation. We simulated a 1‐day emergency meeting where experts were engaged to recommend mitigation strategies for a new outbreak of the amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. Despite the inevitable uncertainty, experts suggested and discussed several possible strategies. However, their recommendations were undermined by imperfect initial definitions of the objectives and scope of management. This problem is likely to arise in most real‐world emergency situations. The exercise thus highlighted the importance of clearly defining the context, objectives, and spatial–temporal scale of mitigation decisions. Managers are commonly under pressure to act immediately. However, an iterative process in which experts and managers cooperate to clarify objectives and uncertainties, while collecting more information and devising mitigation strategies, may be slightly more time consuming but ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/csp2.141
Uncontrolled keywords: amphibians, chytridiomycosis, containment, detection, early warning, epizootic, expert elicitation, mitigation, objectives, workshop
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Richard Griffiths
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 13:08 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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