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.
|Title||A case study of assigning conservation value to dispersed habitat units for conservation planning|
|Authors||Jason J. Rohweder, Sara C. Vacek, Shawn M. Crimmins, Wayne E. Thogmartin|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Conservation Planning|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center|