The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the global conservation community, has recognized that the conservation challenges of the 21st century far exceed the responsibilities and footprint of any individual agency or program. The ecological effects of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors do not recognize geopolitical boundaries and, as such, demand a national geographic framework to provide structure for cross-jurisdictional and landscape-scale conservation strategies. In 2009, a new map of ecologically based conservation regions in which to organize capacity and implement strategic habitat conservation was developed using rapid prototyping and expert elicitation by an interagency team of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey scientists and conservation professionals. Incorporating Bird Conservation Regions, Freshwater Ecoregions, and U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic unit codes, the new geographic framework provides a spatial template for building conservation capacity and focusing biological planning and conservation design efforts. The Department of Interior's Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are being organized in these new conservation regions as multi-stakeholder collaborations for improved conservation science and management.
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A national geographic framework for guiding conservation on a landscape scale