John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Assessing the risks of pesticides to threatened and endangered species using population modeling: A critical review and recommendations for future work

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US legislation requires the US Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that pesticide use does not cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, including species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA; hereafter referred to as listed species). Despite a long history of population models used in conservation biology and resource management and a 2013 report from the US National Research Council recommending their use, application of population models for pesticide risk assessments under ESA has been minimal. We reviewed literature published from 2004‐2014 to explore the availability of population models and their frequency of use in listed species risk assessments. We categorized the models in terms of structure, taxonomic coverage, purpose, inputs and outputs, and whether the models included density dependence, stochasticity, risk estimates or were spatially explicit. Despite widespread availability of models and an extensive literature documenting their use in other management contexts, only two of the approximately 400 studies reviewed used population models to assess the risks of pesticides to listed species. This result suggests that there is an untapped potential to adapt existing models for pesticide risk assessments under ESA, but also that there are some challenges to do so for listed species. We summarize key conclusions from our analysis, and recommend priorities for future work to increase the usefulness of population models as tools for pesticide risk assessments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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