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Ecological Model Support for the Western Everglades Restoration Project (WERP) Round Three of Four, 2019

May 25, 2022

Ecological models facilitate evaluation and assessment of alternative approaches to restore the Greater Everglades ecosystem. However, the provision of useful and accessible models is a challenge because there is often a disconnect between model output and its use by decision makers. Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) meets this challenge by providing ecological model output tailored to management decisions. JEM is a partnership among federal and state agencies, universities, and other organizations. Ecological models (i.e., ecological planning tools) were developed and used by JEM during the Central Everglades Planning Project to evaluate potential effects to natural resources in the impacted areas. There is a desire by the planning agencies and bureaus involved in the Western Everglades Restoration Project (WERP) to use these same tools for WERP evaluations of alternative restoration plans. The models of particular interest to the WERP Ecological Subteam are: (1) Marl Prairie Habitat Suitability Index in conjunction with the (2) Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow Helper, (3) (native) Florida apple snail population model (EverSnail), (4) Wading bird distribution and evaluation models (WADEM), (5) Small-sized freshwater fish density, and (6) American alligator habitat suitability index (HSI). This is round 3 (of 4) for the WERP.