Over the last 75 years, Puerto Rico transformed from an agricultural economy to anindustrialized economy and now faces economic stagnation. These transitions have directimplications for Puerto Rico’s environment, water resources, and the health of its population.The island of Puerto Rico is 8,700 square kilometers, made up of 78 municipios (municipalities)with a population of 3,548,397 people, and rapidly declining.1,2 Puerto Rico’s geography andgeology present a diverse set of challenges to meet the water demands of its people and ensuresafe and sustainable water supply.
Monitoring the Effects of Climate Change on Waterfowl Abundance in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley: Optimizing Sampling Efficacy and Efficiency.
Building off the successes of the stratified random sampling approach to selecting aerial transects for waterfowl surveying used by Mississippi and Arkansas, the waterfowl conservation community is undertaking this approach across the entire Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Waterfowl respond directly to climate factors and this approach allows for statistically valid estimates that can track trends over time.
Enhanced Stewardship of Priority Habitats and Species on Private Lands Using NALCC Science across Four Northeastern states
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) will facilitate integration of regional science through local land-use decision-making to enhance stewardship of North Atlantic LCC conservation priorities. The WCS will identify North Atlantic LCC science data layers that are most relevant for state and regional conservation priorities and determine opportunities for integrating this information into state and regional planning. This information will be used to identify and prioritize communities with the greatest potential to achieve conservation outcomes in locations of high conservation value on private lands through small science-based modifications to existing land-use planning tools. WCS will demonstrate on-the-ground...
This project expands upon the first version of the SGP-CHAT and create a more robust spatial planning tool (SPT) for directing conservation of the lesser prairie chicken (LPC). This tool is a critical component for agency conservation planning and it is a necessity that agencies delivering conservation for LPC work from the same source data for maximum benefit of the species and its surrounding ecosystem.
Mapping ecological systems of Kansas and Nebraska expands upon previous work completed for Texas and Oklahoma and advances the desire of regional and state partners to have a consistently mapped seamless land cover for the Great Plains region. Land cover provides the framework to inform wildlife management and conservation decisions by identifying the current landscape configuration. Quantify the amount and types of habitat, by location, currently available is critical to determining where conservation and management resources should be allocated.
Freshwater Aquatic Landscape Condition and Species Endpoints for the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative Region
The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership will engage regional aquatic experts to provide input into the development of desired ecological states - defined by landscape and species endpoints - for each of the broadly defined Freshwater Aquatic habitat types listed in the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s draft Integrated Science Agenda. The final product will include recommendations for next steps to validate and achieve the desired landscape conditions, including potential modeling and tool development to facilitate spatial projection of final desired states.
This project will evaluate the extent to which planted pine can provide Desired Ecological States for wildlife species using literature review and meta-analyses. Based on this review, harvest scheduling software (HabPlan) will be used to simulate a variety of management options across a 50-year time span to quantify the availability of Desired Ecological States over the course of each simulation and to identify options for providing open pine conditions in managed forests of theGulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks region.
Pearl River Basin - Data validation of subsurface habitat classifications for aquatic systems and expanded biological monitoring in support of developing species-habitat relationships and species endpoints (i.e. desired or optimal states)
This project will address species-habitat relationships for a priority aquatic system for the GCPO LCC, Mainstem Big Rivers. Specifically, the project will collect subsurface aquatic habitat data using side-scan sonar and high resolution bathymetry data in the Pearl River system of Louisiana. This project expands on current work ongoing in the Pearl River, and would extend habitat data collection for the purposes of making recommendations on restoration of aquatic habitat for species endpoints in this aquatic system. This project directly addresses landscape conservation design and will be used to inform Adaptation Strategies.
Ecological Assessment-Phase 2: Terrestrial - Developing a Strategic Decision Framework for Terrestrial Species Conservation
Pilot an approach that integrates dynamic landscape population viability models and structured decision making to choose among conservation scenarios that best meet desired endpoints for focal wildlife species. Our combined approach will Identify 3-4 species for each inland terrestrial habitat system listed in the Integrated Science Agenda (15-20 total). Using the combined approach, we will identify potential conservation strategy alternaties intended to meet desired endpoints for focal wildlife species in the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks region under land use change. Scenarios will likely be habitat based, but could include other approaches (e.g. policy).
Forecasting Changes in Aquatic Systems and Resilience of Aquatic Populations in the NALCC: Decision-support Tools for Conservation
The objective of this project was to develop tools to assist managers in protecting and restoring streams for brook trout and other aquatic resources in the face of threats such as climate change and development. Summary of Phase 2 of the project (2014-2016):The goal of the second phase of this project was to improve natural resources management by providing effective, flexible, portable, and transparent modeling results and decision support tools to managers. The objectives included: 1) Expand existing tools to additional portions of LCC region a) Extend the stream temperature and stream flow models to the full geographic area of the North Atlantic LCC, plus the headwaters of the Atlantic-draining watersheds (e.g.,...
The GCP LCC Steering Committee tasked the GCP LCC Science Team to reduce to 25 a list Surrogate Species (from a long list of Priority, and Focal Species) for use in conservation planning. Step one (1) would be to identify and retain a contractor to compile all identified conservation species lists, organize these lists of species, and condense these lists for the GCP LCC. The contractor would use existing species lists (e.g., Federal, State, Joint Ventures, Fish Habitat Partnerships, The Nature Conservancy, etc.) provided by the Science Team and other sources; the format and reduction through the use of Science team collaboration and specific criteria would be documented and summarized by the contractor. This process...
Evaluation and Refinement of a Decision Support Tool for Mottled Duck Habitat Conservation in the Western Gulf Coast
Habitat loss and degradation due to urban expansion and other human activities have raised concerns for the Western Gulf Coast Mottled Duck population. This species relies on tidal, palustrine, and agricultural wetlands as well as grasslands for all of its life cycle needs. The disappearance of suitable nesting and brood-rearing habitat is believed to be the primary factor associated with long-term population decline of the mottled duck. One of the first science projects initiated by the GCP LCC was development of a spatially-explicit Decision Support Tool (DST) to help guide conservation and management of habitat for breeding Mottled Ducks in coastal Louisiana and Texas. An important next step is evaluating the...
The Lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas is one of the largest migratory bird stopovers in North America and a major birding hotspot. Reservoir development allowed controlled flows of the lower Rio Grande River and subsequent agricultural expansion in the river valley, resulting in rapid population growth and habitat loss, causing significant declines in fish and wildlife populations. Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners wish to restore habitat and self-sustaining migratory bird populations in the valley.
Shorebirds are among the most abundant and visible high-latitude vertebrates. Their ecology makes them particularly sensitive to climate change in the arctic. The current distribution of shorebirds on the Arctic Coastal Plain is poorly known because accurate data exist from just a few locations. The Arctic LCC has supported development of habitat selection models that combine bird survey data with remotely-sensed habitat maps to “fill in the gaps” where observations are sparse. In future phases, the distribution maps generated from these models could be ground-truthed and improved, and subsequently used as the basis from which to forecast future shorebird distribution for projected future climate scenarios.
Quantification of Alligator Gar Recruitment Dynamics Using a River-Stage Specific Floodplain Inundation Model
Alligator Gar, Atractosteus spatula, is an iconic species native to lowland floodplain river systems where they play an important role as top predators and by linking landscapes through their movement. Alligator Gar is also an important native fisheries species in the Trinity River. Disruption of river-floodplain connectivity is implicated in declining populations of Alligator Gar across much of its range. Successful management and conservation of Alligator Gar populations will be aided by an understanding of the relationship between flow and recruitment, particularly the availability and suitability of off-channel habitats utilized by this species for reproduction.
Predicting Snow Water Equivalence (SWE) and Soil Moisture Response to Restoration Treatments in Headwater Ponderosa Pine Forests of the Desert LCC
Northern Arizona University will build upon the U.S. Forest Service Four Forest Restoration Initiative in Northern Arizona to investigate how restoration efforts can affect the water volume available in the snowpack and soil moisture in the Desert LCC. This project will result in a tool that can be used to predict the water volume in snowpack and soil moisture response to various forest treatments.
Riparian ecosystems are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems in desert biomes. In the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Mojave deserts of the United States and Mexico, riparian ecosystems support regional biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services to human communities. Due to the dynamic nature of these ecosystems and their abundance of resources, riparian areas have been modified in various ways and to a large extent through human endeavor to manage water and accommodate various land uses, particularly in lowland floodplains and stream channels. Modifications often interfere with multiple and complex ecological processes, resulting in the loss of native riparian vegetation and increasing vulnerability...
Freshwater systems are critically imperiled and continue to be threatened by human encroachment and water development. The upper Gila River in New Mexico is one of the last unobstructed rivers in the Colorado River basin with a mostly intact native fish fauna, including two federally listed and one state-listed fish species. Kansas State University will develop methodologies or decision support tools to assess or evaluate current or existing resource management practices to learn and adapt to the effects of climate change on fish species. The researchers will investigate how the connectivity of the Gila River habitat impacts the fish population with respect to the behavior of native and non-native species.
The substantially natural hydrography of the upper Gila River supports one of the highest levels of aquatic and riparian biodiversity in the region, including the largest complement of native fishes and some of the best remaining riparian habitat in the lower Colorado River Basin. Native vegetation dominates the broad and structurally diverse floodplain, creating habitat for hundreds of birds and other wildlife. Two of the Gila’s fish species, spikedace and loach minnow, and a neotropical migratory bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher, are federally listed as endangered. The yellow-billed cuckoo, a candidate species for listing, nests in the Cliff-Gila Valley. Changes to the river’s hydrology, including peak...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Downloadable, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service, Shapefile; Tags: 2012, Conservation Design, Data Management and Integration, Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative, EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS > RIVERS/STREAM,
Water Delivery Data and Model Integration for Restoring Ecological Health to the Colorado River Delta
In February 2014, taking action to implement a 2012 U.S.-Mexico agreement on the Colorado River known as Minute 319, International Boundary and Water Commissioners (IBWC) Edward Drusina and Roberto Fernando Salmon Castelo announced plans to move forward with a one-time pulse flow (a release of water into the Colorado River channel below the last dam on the River) as well as a five-year commitment by a coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations to deliver base flow water. Minute 319’s environmental water deliveries to the Colorado River Delta are intended to restore native riparian habitat along the river corridor, where invasive non-native saltcedar has displaced the native willow and cottonwood trees that provide...