Salmonid Population Viability Project

Developing new tools for population viability assessment of imperiled species

Federal and state agencies charged with the management of imperiled species regularly perform conservation planning exercises to guide the allocation of limited resources for preservation and restoration. Such conservation planning is often hampered by a lack of quantitative information on the viability of populations under current and future conditions.

In this project, the RBC is leading a large team of researchers from academia, NGOs and federal agencies to develop new methods of population viability assessment.

These methods fill a crucial gap, connecting population ecology and genetic approaches that rely on extensive field collections with landscape ecology methods that rely on broad-scale Earth observations. Efforts are currently focused on trout species in the western US, but may expand to other types of organisms in other parts of the US. The work is supported primarily by a grant from NASA’s Ecological Forecasting program.

Funding: $907,000 in support from NASA, plus matching funds from Trout Unlimited, US Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Seattle City Light, and others. $114,000 to the RBC.
RBC Personnel: Seth Wenger, Doug Leasure
Partners: Trout Unlimited; University of Montana; USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station; USGS; University of Nevada, Reno; US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Close up of rainbow trout fish (Oncorhynchus mykiss) underwater. Photo by Eric Engbretson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.