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Southeast CASC Research Ecologist and partners create an adaptive management program for restoring an imperiled ecosystem and recovering declining populations of endemic habitat specialists. 

Limitations in the ability of natural disturbance, such as fire, to mediate habitat dynamics have resulted in a decline in certain vegetation types, creating the need for habitat management plans that replace such disturbances and increase habitat structural complexity. Southeast CASC research ecologist Mitch Eaton worked with U.S. Fish and Wildlife partners and others to create an adaptive management program for restoring an imperiled ecosystem and recovering declining populations of an endemic habitat specialist by jointly evaluating habitat and species population dynamics. Their study, described in a new publication in the journal Ecosphere, focused on evaluating the options available to manage Florida scrub‐jay population’s health and distribution.  This research provides a practical approach for increasing scientific understanding of complex relationships within habitats and may serve as an example for other scientists informing management and conservation efforts through collaborative, adaptive management frameworks. 

Funding for this study was provided by the USGS, in partnership with NASA and the Florida Department of Transportation. 

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