Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Development of a structured decision-making framework to guide translocation of imperiled aquatic species in the Roanoke and Dan river basins


August 2018 - January 2020


Translocation of wild or propagated animals is a potential tactic for mitigating extinction risks for several imperiled species in the Roanoke and Dan river basins (RDRB). Biologists must weigh the risks associated with a suite of linked decisions when considering translocation as a recovery tool. These decisions could be made more quickly, objectively, and transparently if based on criteria that were previously agreed-upon by species experts and pre-approved by management agencies. Project outcomes will include optimized translocation strategies for four local species, as well as a decision-support tool that can be used to weigh risks of translocations for many other aquatic species. The project is a collaboration among USGS, Georgia Southern University, and Virginia Tech.
(1) convene stakeholders to identify conservation goals, objectives, actions, and performance measures,
so success can be measured under alternative actions;
(2) synthesize stakeholder input and best available data regarding relationships between potential actions
and performance measures;
(3) develop demographic models to forecast conservation outcomes under alternative actions;
(4) use the models to recommend optimal strategies for meeting species-specific conservation objectives.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 13

Scientific Publications: 72

Presentations: 118



Funding Agencies

  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation


Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  5. Wildlife Management Institute