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2006 San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program Covered Species Prioritization report

Lead author: Douglas Deutschman
Introduction: This report describes the results of Task B1 from Local Assistance Grant P0450009, to strategically subdivide the system and prioritize for monitoring program development by grouping and prioritizing the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) covered species for monitoring. For clarity, the description of that task is reproduced here, from the text of the Local Assistance Grant contract. Group and prioritize covered species for monitoring. MSCP covered species were initially categorized according to Species Groups, Habitat monitoring and Community level monitoring. These groupings will be evaluated and revised if necessary, and a strategy will be implemented to identify those species requiring priority attention in monitoring protocol development. In addition to other tools, the grantees will use threatened species ranking protocols, specifically designed for prioritizing species at risk, to revise and/or assess these groupings (Andelman et al. 2004). The MSCP monitoring partners expect that some covered species that either require unique management considerations, are flag-ship species (e.g., California gnatcatcher), or are critically at risk (e.g., Thorne's hairstreak butterfly) will need to be evaluated as single species. In contrast, some species that can readily be placed into community groupings or guilds, such as other covered CSS birds, may need to be evaluated in the context of community monitoring. Historic ranges of other species may have overlapped with the planning area (e.g., California red-legged frog or Pacific pocket mouse), but, as there are no known populations within the current MSCP, such species will not need to be prioritized for monitoring. However, if discovered, these would be evaluated as single species for monitoring. This report describes in detail the prioritization scheme used to rank the covered species. The threat categories used in this risk-based scheme are defined, and the habitat associations are prioritized according to the risk factors that species using those habitats face. Finally, recommendations on species and habitat priorities are provided.