ROOM: RSCC, F6
The United States expends substantial resources conserving rare wildlife and fish species. However, our theoretical understandings of the ecology of species that are confined to a narrow range or are present in low abundance, as well as our tools to evaluate their habitat and population dynamics, often fall short of what we need to implement effective conservation. The toolbox for working with messy, sparse, and weak data characteristic of rare species has grown substantially in recent years, providing opportunities to advance theoretical understanding of rare species dynamics and persistence as well as to innovate collectively to achieve conservation goals. In this workshop, we aim to bring people from different wildlife and fisheries disciplines of practice together to address these challenges of rare species conservation in an environment where new ideas can emerge. This workshop will include structured conversations and presentations about how our understanding of ecological principles can inform our thinking about rare species, combined with expert-led training sessions introducing relevant tools: (1) Identifying appropriate hypotheses for investigation under resource constraints, (2) Utilizing environmental DNA in terrestrial and aquatic environments, and (3) Dealing with low occurrence and false positives in rare species datasets. This workshop is intended for anyone interested in expanding their thinking about rare species ecology and the tools we can use to understand and conserve them, whether in academic, professional, or agency settings.
Organizers: Hannah Specht, Jessie Golding
Supported by: TWS Biometrics Working Group, TWS Western Section Board Member Matthew Bettleheim, Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana