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Biological planning units and aquatic extensions for the Gulf Coast

April 11, 2017

The success of Gulf Coast restoration efforts hinge on partners sharing a common vision for conservation framed by explicit biological objectives for specific conservation targets. However, specific and explicit biological objectives that quantify what it means to actually share a common vision remain undefined. Therefore, this project's goal is to develop explicit biological objectives for a common suite of conservation targets representative of sustainable Gulf habitats across the four Gulf Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs)(i.e., Gulf Coast Prairie, Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks, Peninsular Florida, and South Atlantic) and, for a subset of those species, to use Bayesian Network models to link these biological objectives to habitat characteristics that can be influenced by/considered in restoration efforts. The first step of this process was identifying focal conservation areas in which these population and habitat objectives would be placed. For this project these focal conservation areas are called Biological Planning Units (BPU). Along with the Biological Planning Units, the Aquatic Extensions were established to provide a boundary that represented the aquatic species of the project (i.e. Gulf Sturgeon).

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