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Abstract: As the climate changes, human land use may impede species from tracking areas with suitable climates. Maintaining connectivity between areas of different temperatures could allow organisms to move along temperature gradients and allow species to continue to occupy the same temperature space as the climate warms. We used a coarse-filter approach to identify broad corridors for movement between areas where human influence is low while simultaneously routing the corridors along present-day spatial gradients of temperature. We modified a cost–distance algorithm to model these corridors and tested the model with data on current land-use and climate patterns in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The...
The Yukon North Slope is an arctic “hot spot” of climate change-induced effects with profound significance for the Inuvialuit and the larger region. In 1984, the Inuvialuit entered into a land claim agreement – the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) – with the governments of Canada, Yukon and Northwest Territories. A co-management body formed to make a plan, which was developed in 2003 but never ratified and is now considered out-of-date. Round River Conservation Studies is assisting WMAC(NS) in the collection, development and synthesis of spatial data, models and analyses of cultural and ecological values of the YNS.The project is a collaboration among the NWB LCC, Round River Conservation Studies, and the Arctic...
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Climate change vulnerability assessments are commonly used to identify species or populations at risk from global climate change, but few translate impact assessments to climate change adaptation actions. Furthermore, most climate change adaptation efforts emphasize where to implement management actions, whereas timing remains largely overlooked. The rate of modern climate change introduces urgency in evaluating whether delaying conservation actions compromises their efficacy for reaching important conservation targets. We evaluated the importance of multiple climate change adaptation strategies including timing of actions on preventing extinctions for a threatened climate-sensitive species, the Eastern Massasauga...
We analyzed the conservation status of 73 vegetation cover types distributed across a 1.76 million km2 region in 10 states of the western USA. We found that 25 vegetation cover types had at least 10% of their area in nature reserves. These were generally plant communities located at higher elevations and thus more commonly associated with national parks and wilderness areas. All but three of the remaining 48 cover types occurred with sufficient area on publically owned lands in the region to imply that transforming land management intent on these lands could also increase their protection. We also analyzed the level of protection afforded each cover type across its entire geographic distribution in the region. Most...
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We used publically available data on duck breeding distribution and recently compiled geospatialdata on upland habitat and environmental conditions to develop a spatially explicitmodel of breeding duck populations across the entire Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Ourspatial population models were able to identify key areas for duck conservation across thePPR and predict between 62.1 – 79.1% (68.4% avg.) of the variation in duck counts by yearfrom 2002 – 2010. The median difference in observed vs. predicted duck counts at a transectsegment level was 4.6 ducks. Our models are the first seamless spatially explicit modelsof waterfowl abundance across the entire PPR and represent an initial step toward jointconservation...
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Comprehensive wetland inventories are an essential tool for wetland management, but developing and maintaining an inventory is expensive and technically challenging. Funding for these efforts has also been problematic. Here we describe a large-area application of a semi-automated processused to update a wetland inventory for east-central Minnesota. The original inventory for this area was the product of a laborintensive, manual photo-interpretation process. The present application incorporated high resolution, multi-spectral imagery from multiple seasons; high resolution elevation data derived from lidar; satellite radar imagery; and other GIS data. Map production combined image segmentation and random forest classification...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12257/abstract): Aim Ecological niche modelling is one of the main tools that allows for the incorporation of climate change effects into conservation planning. For example, ecological niche model predictions can be used to rank species by degree of predicted future habitat loss. While many studies have considered how different modelling decisions contribute to uncertainty in niche model outputs, here we evaluate how metrics used to rank species by conservation risk respond to the choice of global climate models, greenhouse gas emission scenarios, suitable versus unsuitable threshold values, and the degree of model complexity. Location California,...
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Streams across the world are highly fragmented due to the presence of in-stream barriers (e.g., dams and stream-road crossings), many of which restrict or block fish passage. Retrofitting or replacing these structures is a high priority for restoring habitat connectivity for native fishes and other aquatic organisms in the Pacific Northwest. The task of restoring habitat connectivity for problematic stream-road crossings is daunting given the many thousands of barriers that are present and the massive financial investments required. Further, the potential risks to road infrastructure from flooding, debris flows, and climate change will need to be addressed to ensure the best allocation of resources. In this study,...
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In practice, there are a number of challenges associated with formal consideration of the environment in water planning in large parts of the Desert LCC region. In Arizona, for example, there is no legal requirement to include the environment in water management or planning efforts (Megdal et al. 201 0). Therefore, there is little incentive to develop the additional tools and resources required to include the environment as a water demand sector. Appropriate inclusion of the environment into water planning requires conducting planning at a scale and geography that matches regional hydrology rather than political boundaries. Therefore, without explicit policy guidance from state government, regional stakeholders...
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Conservation prioritization usually focuses on conservation of rare species or biodiversity, rather than ecological processes. This is partially due to a lack of informative indicators of ecosystem function. Biological soil crusts (BSCs) trap and retain soil and water resources in arid ecosystems and function as major carbon and nitrogen fixers; thus, they may be informative indicators of ecosystem function. We created spatial models of multiple indicators of the diversity and function of BSCs (species richness, evenness, functional diversity, functional redundancy, number of rare species, number of habitat specialists, nitrogen and carbon fixation indices, soil stabilization, and surface roughening) for the 800,000-ha...
Widespread degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem in the western United States, including the invasion of cheatgrass, has prompted resource managers to consider a variety of approaches to restore and conserve habitats for sagebrush-associated species. One such approach involves the use of greater sage-grouse, a species of prominent conservation interest, as an umbrella species. This shortcut approach assumes that managing habitats to conserve sage-grouse will simultaneously benefit other species of conservation concern. The efficacy of using sage-grouse as an umbrella species for conservation management, however, has not been fully evaluated. We tested that concept by comparing: (1) commonality in land-cover associations,...
Government agencies that develop infrastructure such as roads, waterworks, and energy delivery often impact natural ecosystems, but they also have unique opportunities to contribute to the conservation of regional natural resources through compensatory mitigation. Infrastructure development requires a planning, funding, and implementation cycle that can frequently take a decade or longer, but biological mitigation is often planned and implemented late in this process, in a project-by-project piecemeal manner. By adopting early regional mitigation needs assessment and planning for habitat-level impacts from multiple infrastructure projects, agencies could secure time needed to proactively integrate these obligations...
Hawaiian forest birds are imperiled, with fewer than half the original >40 species remaining extant. Recent studies document ongoing rapid population decline and project complete climate‐based range losses for the critically endangered Kaua’i endemics ‘akeke’e (Loxops caeruleirostris) and ‘akikiki (Oreomystis bairdi) by end‐of‐century due to projected warming. Climate change facilitates the upward expansion of avian malaria into native high elevation forests where disease was historically absent. While intensified conservation efforts attempt to safeguard these species and their habitats, the magnitude of potential loss and the urgency of this situation require all conservation options to be seriously considered....
AbstractContext Conservation planning is increasingly using ‘‘coarse filters’’ based on the idea of conserving ‘‘nature’s stage’’. One such approach is based on ecosystems and the concept of ecological integrity, although myriad ways exist to measure ecological integrity.Objectives To describe our ecosystem-based index of ecological integrity (IEI) and its derivative index of ecological impact (ecoImpact), and illustrate their applications for conservation assessment and planning in the northeastern United States.Methods We characterized the biophysical setting of the landscape at the 30 m cell resolution using a parsimonious suite of settings variables. Based on these settings variables and mapped ecosystems, we...
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The potential ecological and economic effects of climate change for tropical islands were studied using output from 12 statistically downscaled general circulation models (GCMs) taking Puerto Rico as a test case. Two model selection/model averaging strategies were used: the average of all available GCMs and the average of the models that are able to reproduce the observed large-scale dynamics that control precipitation over the Caribbean. Five island-wide and multidecadal averages of daily precipitation and temperature wereestimated by way of a climatology-informed interpolation of the site-specific downscaled climate model output. Annual cooling degree-days (CDD) were calculated as a proxy index for air-conditioning...
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This project will provide a comprehensive synthesis of beaver recolonization science and techniques for successful reintroduction or population expansion through a thorough, in-depth, coordinated review of all North American beaver-related information, including identification of research gaps and data needs, and recommendations for project implementation. This information will be disseminated through a series of one-day workshops.
Open canopy conditions in southeastern pine (Pinus spp.) forests were historically maintained by frequent fire and other disturbances, without which midstory hardwoods create closed canopy conditions limiting value of pine stands for many endemic, disturbance-adapted species. Intensively managed pine forests, which comprise 19% of forests in the southeastern U.S., can emulate historical open pine conditions, providing appropriate vegetation structure and composition for many endemic species. However, exact mechanisms for producing and maintaining open pine conditions and subsequent effects on biodiversity have not been examined across regions and stand ages. To better inform managers about options for providing...
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Governmental and nongovernmental organizations charged with managingnatural resources increasingly emphasize the need to work across jurisdictional boundaries.Their challenge is to manage shifting resources under rapidly changing climate andland-use scenarios. Scientists, resource managers, and conservation planners, and theirorganizations and agencies routinely collaborate on projects to solve specific problems.Cooperative frameworks to programmatically address complex social–environmental issuesand develop shared research, planning, and implementation priorities are relatively new.One such framework includes 22 Landscape Conservation Cooperatives that encompass the US, Caribbean countries, and bordering regions...
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Throughout the Caribbean, conservation is ecologically, politically, and sociallychallenging due to a number of factors including globalization, climate change, loss ofbiodiversity, and the spread of invasive species. Relationships between organizations andinstitutions that govern the region’s natural and cultural resources are key to conservationsuccess as partners work to implement plans to meet science, capacity, and informationneeds. However, the complex challenges involved in conservation work and tenuous relationshipsamong organizations can result in a “knowing–doing gap”. Empirical evidencefrom 130 Caribbean conservation organizations indicates that barriers to bridging this gapare lack of information and...


map background search result map search result map Prioritizing Conservation Effort through the Use of Biological Soil Crusts as Ecosystem Function Indicators in an Arid Region Where the Stream Meets the Road: Prioritizing Culvert Replacement for Fish Passage - Thesis The Beaver Restoration Guidebook Version 1.0 Watershed Management Planning Materials and A Demonstration in the Upper Gila River Watershed Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Building the Foundation for International Conservation Planning for Breeding Ducks across the U.S. and Canadian Border Climate Change Implications for Tropical Islands: Interpolating and Interpreting Statistically Downscaled GCM Projections for Management and Planning The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative: A New Framework for Effective Conservation of Natural and Cultural Resources in the Caribbean Boundary Organizations as an Approach to Overcoming Science-Delivery Barriers in Landscape Conservation: A Caribbean Case Study Publication: Delaying conservation actions matters for species vulnerable to climate change Where the Stream Meets the Road: Prioritizing Culvert Replacement for Fish Passage - Thesis Prioritizing Conservation Effort through the Use of Biological Soil Crusts as Ecosystem Function Indicators in an Arid Region Climate Change Implications for Tropical Islands: Interpolating and Interpreting Statistically Downscaled GCM Projections for Management and Planning The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative: A New Framework for Effective Conservation of Natural and Cultural Resources in the Caribbean Boundary Organizations as an Approach to Overcoming Science-Delivery Barriers in Landscape Conservation: A Caribbean Case Study Watershed Management Planning Materials and A Demonstration in the Upper Gila River Watershed Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Building the Foundation for International Conservation Planning for Breeding Ducks across the U.S. and Canadian Border Publication: Delaying conservation actions matters for species vulnerable to climate change The Beaver Restoration Guidebook Version 1.0