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Keywords:

  • Endangered species;
  • recovery;
  • threat mitigation;
  • prioritization;
  • Canada;
  • IUCN;
  • policy

Abstract

Threats to species’ persistence are typically mitigated via lengthy and costly recovery planning processes that are implemented only after species are at risk of extinction. To reduce overall threats and minimize risks to species not yet imperiled, a proactive and broad-scale framework is needed. Using data on threats to imperiled species in Canada to illustrate our approach, we link threats to industries causing the harm, thus providing regulators with quantitative data that can be used directly in cost-benefit and risk analyses to broadly reduce threat levels. We then show how ranking the ease of threat abatement and reversal assists prioritization by identifying threats that are easiest to mitigate as well as threats that are possible to abate but nearly impossible to reverse. This new framework increases the usefulness of widely available threat data for preventative conservation and species recovery.