Final Report: Identifying relationships between invasive species and species of greatest conservation need in the Northeast region

Exotic invasive species pose a significant threat to species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) throughout the Northeast in a number of ways. Impacts may be direct (affecting individual health or productivity) or indirect (affecting habitat and/or ecosystem processes) or both.

State wildlife action plans (SWAP) have identified wildlife species within each state that warrant some level of management concern. Causes for concern vary by species and typically loss of habitat, pollution, and other stressors are listed as contributors to population decreases. In some cases, invasive species have been specifically identified as impacting subsets of SGCNs within states but to date, there has been no assessment of the invasive species posing the greatest potential threat to SGCNs at the regional level.

The original goal of this project was to produce a list of invasive species that posed the most significant threat to SGCNs in the Northeast Region. However, during the process of completing the project it became evident that the true value in this effort lies in the data assembled and the ability for future users to customize it for their specific needs. Therefore, the goal of this project was amended to focus on the provision of these data tables and a process for modifying them to allow users to modify them and generate lists reflecting their own importance criterion.

This report will provide background information on how these data tables were developed and how they should be interpreted for prioritizing and ranking invasive species threats to SGCNs. This report will provide background information on how the lists of SGCNs and invasive species were compiled and attributed. We will also provide an example of how this information can be used to generate specific ranked lists of invasive species.

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