A case study of assigning conservation value to dispersed habitat units for conservation planning

Journal of Conservation Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 

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Abstract

Resource managers are increasingly tasked with developing habitat conservation plans in the face of numerous, sometimes competing, objectives. These plans must often be implemented across dispersed habitat conservation units that may contribute unequally to overall conservation objectives. Using U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service waterfowl production areas (WPA) in western Minnesota as our conservation landscape, we develop a landscape-scale approach for evaluating the conservation value of dispersed habitat conservation units with multiple conservation priorities. We evaluated conservation value based on a suite of variables directly applicable to conservation management practices, thus providing a direct link between conservation actions and outcomes. We developed spatial models specific to each of these conservation objectives and also developed two freely available prioritization tools to implement these analyses. We found that some WPAs provided high conservation value across a range of conservation objectives, suggesting that managing these specific areas would achieve multiple conservation goals. Conversely, other WPAs provided low conservation value for some objectives, suggesting they would be most effectively managed for a distinct set of specific conservation goals. Approaches such as ours provide a direct means of assessing the conservation value of dispersed habitat conservation units and could be useful in the development of habitat management plans, particularly when faced with multiple conservation objectives.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A case study of assigning conservation value to dispersed habitat units for conservation planning
Series title Journal of Conservation Planning
Volume 11
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher University of Florida, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Publisher location Gainesville, FL
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description 15 p.
First page 13
Last page 27
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N