Track 2: Conservation Science
Sunday Session 1: Plenary Session
Sunday Session 2:GIS for Forest Protection and Restoration: These 4 papers show how GIS is used around the world in innovative new techniques for assessment, management and restoration of forest ecosystems.
THE USE OF GIS IN FOREST RESTORATION AS A NEW CONSERVATION APPROACH IN INDONESIA
The commercialization of natural forest for timber production in Indonesia started on 1970. From 1970s until the late of 1990s timber harvesting operations in Indonesia played an important role in national development. However it also had a negative impact on the country’s forest ecosystem. A large portion of Indonesia forest biodiversities have been destroyed on a massive scale. During the period 1900 – 1997 the Sumatra dry lowland forest has decreased from an original 16 million ha to 2.2 million ha. Now only 650,000 ha of this habitat still remains and this will soon be lost if no serious and immediate efforts to save it.
Harapan Rainforest is 101,000 hectares of good forest and forest that has been logged in the past. It is managed for forest restoration with an aim to return the whole of the forest to its original condition. The site is managed by a new type of license for ecosystem restoration in Indonesia. It is the first and only place in Indonesia that has this type of license to manage previous production/logging forest for conservation. It is a special chance for new and exciting forest management. It is can also help inform other restoration projects in Indonesia and globally.
We will ground truth and map different forest habitats in Harapan using habitat survey data collected on tree species composition. This information will be used in GIS to classify and identify different forest areas based on habitat cover and species composition. We will then use this information to identify which areas of the site are most suitable for different forest restoration strategies. The four strategies we will use are:
1) Protection of an area and leave it to regenerate naturally
2) Assisted natural regeneration
3) Supplementary planting
4) Planting specific framework species
Harapan Rainforest supports a wide variety of wildlife, 290 bird species include nine species hornbill and seven threatened birds, like Storm's Stork and Wallace's Hawk-eagle, and more than 50 mammal species such as Sumatran Tiger, Asian Elephant, Malayan Sun Bear, Asian Tapir and Agile Gibbon. The forest is home to a small community of indigenous people, the Batin Sembilan whose traditional lifestyle depends on a forest ecosystem and whose presence is compatible with conservation purpose. Management of Harapan Rainforest will prevent forest fire, illegal logging and forest degradation from encroachment, and protect endangered species and will involve local communities in sustainable forest management to conserve and restore the forest.
GIS will be extremely important in guiding these decisions that will help restore the forest for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities. At the same time we will use GIS and remote sensing to assess carbon value of the forest and monitor changes in carbon that are either through natural regeneration or from our restoration approaches.We hope that this will show forest restoration can be done in Indonesia and that it is a good finance approach to forest conservation e.g. for carbon sequestration in degraded forests. This will help stop forest clearance in Sumatra and Indonesia.
Mapping and Monitoring Central and North European Russia Forests by Remote Sensing.
Greenpeace produced the map that is the combination of earlier Greenpeace Russia map products (Russia’s forests. Dominating forests types and their canopy density http://www.forestforum.ru/info/pictures/engmap.pdf; Intact Forests Landscapes of Northern European Russia http://www.forestforum.ru/info/pictures/map2.pdf) and forest cover change maps with disturbed criteria in mind. Intact forest landscapes borders were verifying due to 2008. Forest cover change analysis was done using different types of satellite images: Terra/Modis, Landsat-5/TM, Landsat-7/ETM+, Terra/Aster (Terralook collection) for 2 periods (1980-2000, 2000-2008). Dominating forests types were displayed as disturbed or non-disturbed. The main result of this work is recent and reliable map of forests, showing the follows:
- according official statistics the forests of European Russia are still rich, but this map shows the most part of these forests are already disturbed and government misleads people.
- large unpopulated areas comparatively unprofitable to use as their remoteness, and cheap to conserve because of low current economic value. Greenpeace notices forestry has no economy capacity and should have no rights to extend towards non-disturbed areas. We define this limit border according intactness criteria and real border of disturbances by remote sensing.
- The map contains recent data on IFLs borders monitoring (the last time it was 2004).
- The map shows different age underwood and deforested areas distribution. The main reason of deforestation defined as logging; on the north fires play a significant role; natural windfalls sometimes became the reason of deforestation in middle-boreal forests.
The forest cover change detection using Landsats satellite images can be presented in details (it was done by me). Other methodologies can be presented generally (they were done by other specialists).
Conservation Planning in the Congo Basin - mapping roads and access for sustainable, living forests
Deforestation in the Congo Basin is not as prevelant or as severe as in the Amazon of Indonesia. The main threats to biodiversity in Congolese forests are industrial logging concessions, and roads that provide access into the forest. Conservation planning in the Congo Basin has primarily involved mapping new roads and routes into forests, which pave the way for human access, environmental degradation and the lucrative bushmeat trade. WWF has been using satellite imagery to map new roads over time, and GIS to evaluate trade routes from sources to markets. In addition, patch analysis is being used to determine fragmentation of forest blocks over time, and identify key areas for the enforcement of trespassing, where to explore alternatives such as agricultural expansion, aquaculture or raising of livestock as well as concessions to target for FSC certification.
World Wildlife Fund
Defining conservation priorities for the ecosystems of the Coastal Cordillera of Venezuela
Venezuela presents converge Amazonian, Andean, Caribbean and Guayanan ecosystems. They range form deserts near sea level in the northwest, through cloud and dwarf forest to perpetual snows in the highest mountains to the west and from the coastal cordillera. Species and ecosystems of this megadiverse country are threatened primarily by overexploitation and land cover change for agriculture, forestry and urbanization. The conservation of plant and animal species has been advanced greatly by the World Conservation Union's (UICN) development an objective, repeatable and transparent criteria for assessing extinction risk, which explicitly separate the process of risk assessment from priority-setting. We present an analogous system for the extinction risk of terrestrial ecosystems using four quantitative risk criteria, derived primarily from remotely-sensed spatial data. Using a naming system analogous to UICN species-specific system, the criteria were: A)Reduction of land cover and continuing therat, B)Rapid rate of land cover change, C)Increased fragmentation and D)Highly restricted geographical distribution. Then, we define conservartion priorities, by integrating extinction risk into the broader societal process of priority setting. In this case, ranking system that also conseiders risk assessment, the uniqueness of threatened ecosystem within the study area, the degree of protection and preferences of the public. We illustrate this risk assessment/priority setting process in the coastal cordillera at north to Venezuela, where high human densities overlap with a mosaic of different forests types, urban centers and protected areas. To quantify land cover change we processed LandSat Images. Six land cover types were identified evergreen, semideciduous and deciduous forest, grassland/burnt/bare ground, agriculture and urban. At the scale of the entire region, deciduous forest are the only threatened ecosystems, classified as Endangered. At the scale of longer landscape units, sucha a municipalities, the three forest types are somewhere threatened or extinct. Between 1986 and 2001 grassland/burnt/bare ground + urban increased 69%. We propose that higher levels of risk for evergreen forest in some locations may not represent a major conservation priority, as these are well protected nearby and their initial extent was probably marginal. In contrast, deciduos forest are possibly a conservation priority wherever they are present in the study region.
Tachack-García, Maria Idalí
Sunday Session 3:
GIS and Climate Change Issues: These 4 papers show how GIS is used globally to understand climate change problems and to measure and mitigate especially in coastal regions.
Deforestation and Development: Can Guyana be benefit from REDD mechanism? A 2010-2040 projection study on carbon emissions
Deforestation and Development: Can Guyana be benefit from REDD mechanism? A 2010-2040 projection study on carbon emissions.
Tropical deforestation accounts for up to 20% of global anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, making it the second largest contributor for climate change. The parties to the UNFCCC are considering policy approaches to reduce emission from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Countries with large carbon stock and high historical deforestation rate will have the greater financial return from REDD policies, Guyana on the other side has historical deforestation rate extraordinarily low and REDD revenues might be limited under some proposals. We modeled Guyana deforestation, between 1990-2040 and estimate the carbon emission, under four different scenarios: (1) Nostalgic past scenario : uses the historical deforestation patterns as a reference level and no major infrastructure systems are improved; (2) Timber, gold and cattle scenario: provides a perspective of future deforestation under development infrastructure improvement in a similar pace as happened in the other Amazonian regions; (3) Insufficient REDD scenario: assumes that Guyana government implements policies to avoid increases in the historical deforestation rates, however REDD revenues are likewise limited and are insufficient to protect the forest and therefore deforestation rate returns to a high level; (4) Effective REDD scenario: assumes that Guyana government implements REDD policies and the funding from REDD is enough to control forest conversion because the emission reductions are projected to a realistic reference scenario based on probable future development. The comparison of four scenarios demonstrates that relative small changes in deforestation rate can lead to a very large differences in carbon emission and the potentiality for generating REDD revenues. We estimated that Guyana would be able to avoid 1Gton of CO2 yearly.
Planning metropolitan region strategies for climate change minimization and non-urbanized areas conservation
Urban and land use planning play a key role in the minimization of climate related risks for human environment, i.e. overheating and extreme meteorological events. Control of urbanization processes appear essential, to avoid the contraction of green zones, with loss of evapotranspiration surfaces and vegetated soil.
We present the case of Catania metropolitan area, the 2 nd most populated region in Sicily (Italy), characterized by a considerable urban sprawl. Inside this complex “urban jam”, there are large non-urbanized spaces. These patches (cultivated and abandoned agricolture lands and lava fields from Mt. Etna), deeply fragmented, are often left for future development. They are strategic for minimizing climate changes consequences, as well as particularly important in the examined context, considering the lack of green spaces for ecological functions and leisure.
The paper shows the results of analyses conducted in order to assess the evolution of the non-urbanized areas fragmentation, since the beginning of the sprawl phenomenon (1960s) to nowadays, with particular reference to the effects on water run-off and evapotraspiration changes. Analyses have been conducted with GIS, using an extensive set of geodatabases, including aerial photos, vectorial/raster cartographies and field surveys. In addition, they explore the consequences of the implementation of already approved municipal masterplans. The results show clearly the need of reversing the actual trend in land use planning. The proposed study can be useful for properly identifing a network of areas to be reserved to new forms of agriculture, leisure and environment conservation. The work is part of GRABS project (GReen and Blue Space strategies for climate change adaptation in urban areas), funded by European Union (Interreg IV C).
La Rosa, Daniele
Università di Catania
The Application of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems to Change Detection for Integrated Coastal Management
The coastal zone of the South Pacific Islands represents varied and highly productive ecosystems such as mangroves, coral reefs and sea grasses. It is necessary to protect these coastal ecosystems to ensure sustainable development because they are found to be mostly degraded and polluted. This requires information on habitats, landforms, coastal processes, water quality and natural hazards on a repetitive basis. Reliable and timely information is required in order to monitor and manage the remaining mangrove resources, coastline changes and rural development areas. The area chosen for this research was the Sigatoka Coral Coast in Fiji . The main aim of this thesis is to investigate how changes in the past can be documented and analysed utilising Remote Sensing data and GIS tools. The GIS technique corrects and analyses the aerial photographs of 1967, 1978, 1986 and 1994. The aerial photographs were available with good spatial resolution once scanned and rectified. IKONOS satellite image was also used providing reference for correcting aerial photos. These aerial photographs were rectified using ERDAS Imagine software and data for analysis, mangroves, coastline and rural development areas were drawn and analysed in the Map Info Environment. Change detection maps were created through overlay of layers in different time periods, and visualising through multi-temporal images. The results showed that coastlines have moved inland 0.54 m/yr to 2.18 m/yr during the studied period from 1967 to 1994. The mangrove analysis showed 1.3% regrowth in some areas like Naevuevu and 11.6% regrowth in other areas like Korotogo from 1986 to 1994. On the other hand there was a 1.4% decrease in mangrove in Naevuevu from 1967 to 1978 and 10.7% removal of mangroves along the Sigatoka River from 1967 to 1994. The rural development analysis showed an increase in the number of houses in the studied areas from 1967 to 1994 and at the same time more deforestation.
Institute of Applied Science, USP
MANGROVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT IN CAMEROON
Cameroon mangroves are biologically productive with estuarine which serve as nursery, feeding and breeding ground for many kinds of marine organisms. Over the years, this productive coastal ecosystem has experienced the concentration of population, exploitation of natural resources, discharge of waste effluent and municipal sewage. Lack of adequate Geospatial data on distribution of these resources remains a hindrance to natural resource management in developing nations like Cameroon. The Limbe Botanic Garden GIS/RS Department was contracted by FAO of the United Nations to ascertain mangrove zones along the coastline of Cameroon. We classified the different mangrove species, developed an accurate Geo-spatial database with the distribution of mangrove zones relative to other land cover/Land use types. Provided training on data collection, storage and analysis to collaborating local institutions, Non Governmental Organizations, and Community Based Organizations helping local communities in their application and management of these reserves.
Buh Wung Gaston
Limbe Botanic Garden
Sunday Session 4: Workshop title: “Forecasting Climate Change Effects on Species Distributions: Approaches for Reducing Uncertainty”
Concept for session: This 90 minute symposium will present 4 talks that address various sources of uncertainty in projecting species range shifts induced by global change. Forecasting of target species potential future distributions is one critically important component of designing management responses in support of biodiversity adaptation to climate change. However, multiple sources of uncertainty plague the outcomes of such ecological forecasts, including spotty biogeographic data sampling of species current distributions, the validity of climate envelope algorithms as a means of predicting species distributions, the variability in current gridded climate surfaces, the wide range of outputs from global climate models, issues surrounding the downscaling of coarse global climate model outputs to create finer scale future climate surfaces, and the uncertainty in future greenhouse gas emissions. In this symposium, we will discuss these sources of uncertainty and various approaches for reducing and quantifying uncertainty, in order to create ecological forecasts of direct use in conservation planning.
Proposed speaker Proposed title
Healy Hamilton Predicting Species Geographic Responses to Climate Change: an overview
Miguel Fernandez The Use of Ensemble Species Distribution Modeling in Forecasting Species Range Shifts
Additional potential speakers
Monday Session 1: GIS for Wildlife: These papers present 4 case studies where GIS is used to analyze and protect wildlife species in Africa and India, and to understand habitat and range management needs for their survival.
Mammal surveys, monitoring and threats to Sites in protected area: the case study of Mt. Elgon and Kibale National Parks.
This paper describes the use of computers and other technological devices in planning and management of the forest national parks. Uganda Wildlife Authority developed a computerized monitoring and information system called MIST which is installed on computers at the two park offices
MIST GIS is a combined data entry, data analysis and Geographical Information System (GIS) software program. The program is used for entry and analysis of data collected in parks and protected areas, the majority of such data consists of observations that are each associated with a specific geographical location (i.e. georeferenced). Therefore, the program is designed to display and analyze this data geographically. The data from the program can also be exported to other GIS software for further processing.
The data is collected through Ranger-based monitoring (RBM). This is an activity where rangers collect data during their routine field patrols about the changing conditions in the park for example recording the levels of human impact and animal encounters. The type of information gathered by rangers is outlined in the monitoring and research plans of the individual parks. During this process, rangers use GPS units and the data collected are analyzed using computers to determine the locations of the major threats to the park.
Mammal surveys have also been undertaken in Kibale National Park (KNP). The DISTANCE program was used for designing line transects used during the ground counts. A total of 40 transects each 4 km in length were realized while the spacing between the transect was 2.787 km
Due to KNP being a forested area indirect census methods were used for some animals species (dung for elephants, Buffalos, Bush pigs and Nests for Chimpanzees). Each transect was revisited three times, to undertake a marked nest/dung count for chimpanzees/elephants and buffalos respectively. Repeated visits avoid the need to calculate decay rates for both nests and dung. The ground counts team in KNP consisted of four (4) groups each with 4 persons.
Data was analyzed using the DISTANCE program while the distribution maps were produced using ArcView 3.3.
Fredrick Wanyama SCGIS SCHOLAR
Uganda Wildlife Authority
Determination of the ranging patterns of chimpanzees using GPS points in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, South Western Uganda.
World over today, one of the greatest concerns is bush meat which is illegally, commercially and/or unsustainably derived from illegal methods of hunting which include wire snares and unregistered guns. Great apes are being hunted to extinction for commercial bush meat in the equatorial forests of Africa.
In Africa, approximately 5,000 chimpanzees are killed by poachers for the bush meat trade every year. Infant chimpanzees are taken alive from forests, bound for the pet trade throughout Africa and the rest of the world. Chimpanzees are being hunted to extinction for commercial bush meat in the equatorial forests of East, west and central Africa.
This paper presents the rescue of chimpanzees from poachers and illegal activity and their eventual rehabilitation for reintroduction in the wild. It highlights the efforts and the use of GIS in the rehabilitation centre and in the protected areas where the chimpanzees are reintroduced, especially for purposes of monitoring and mapping as well as determining their ranging and feeding patterns.
James Musinguzi SCGIS SCHOLAR
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
Cross Boundary Species Conservation – Setting Rangewide Conservation Priorities for Asian Elephants
Surprisingly little is known about the status of Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) populations. For some large parts of the species’ geographic range we do not even know where the populations are, or whether they are still extant. Obtaining a better understanding elephant distribution, abundance, habitat use, population threats and other key characteristics, across its entire geographic range, is needed to set appropriate conservation goals and priorities. This understanding must transcend limitations to elephant conservation due to analyses contained by park, landscape or national borders. To this end, the Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group organized an Asian elephant Rangewide Priority setting workshop, held in October 2008 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This workshop brought together conservationists, scientists, government officials, and other stakeholders from 13 range countries in order to develop a spatially explicit summary of the status and distribution of the species across its range, establish conservation priorities for the species in all the major, ecologically distinct settings in which it occurs and to arrive at those priorities through a consensual process involving all the major current data holders and conservation groups working on the species. Through the collaborative workshop, over 400 confirmed or probable elephant range polygons, representing almost 900,000 Km2 across 24 different ecoregions, were identified. From these, a set of 160 range polygons that represent viable populations across the different habitat types was selected and are being considered for inclusion in a final set of Asian elephant priority conservation sites.
Wildlife Conservation Society
Impact of African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) on the riparian vegetation in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves, Kenya.
Elephants have a greater environmental impact than any mammal but man (Estes, 1991). They are a keystone species with capacity to reverse natural succession, reducing woodland areas to savanna. Attention in East Africa is invariably drawn to woodland change in the presence of elephants through tree breaking and coppicing.We assessed the impact of African elephants, Loxodonta Africana on the Ewaso Nyiro River riparian habitat in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves. We assessed the impact of elephants on the National Reserve’s riparian woodland vegetation through debarking. The reserves are a safe haven for the elephants both during the critical times of the year and from the often insecure northern part of the country. We carried out a total count of riverine woody vegetation in the reserve, mapping some 45,000 trees individually with a hand held GPS unit. Each woody plant was mapped using a GPS and assessed for damage which was categorized on a scale of 0 to 5. The dominant riverine species, Acacia elatior, was the most affected by elephant’s activity. Trees accorded protection by natural thickets and undergrowth, beehives and hotel establishments had the least damage.
Bernard Kasoine Lesowapir SCGIS SCHOLAR
Save the Elephants
Monday Session 2:
GIS for Wildlife Habitat Modelling: These 4 papers show how GIS is used in the analysis and modeling of wildlife habitat needs, dependencies, corridors and reserves.
Modeling Mammal Corridors in the Champlain Valley: A FunConn and Corridor Designer Sensitivity Analysis
Connectivity has gained considerable importance as a conservation goal. To achieve increased connectivity, many conservation planners from different organizations use GIS-based corridor modeling programs, such as FunConn and Corridor Designer. However, many practitioners have had difficulty utilizing these tools to their full extent, not properly understanding the range of assumptions associated with each tool. Planners have called for sensitivity analyses of corridor modeling programs and highlighted
16 areas of uncertainty that need to be addressed when modeling corridors. I conducted a sensitivity analysis of both FunConn and Corridor Designer, testing five different simulations of black bear ( Ursus americanus ) movement in the Champlain Valley of Central Vermont and Upstate New York. These simulations sought to address four of the highlighted areas of uncertainty, including (1) what landscape factors should the model include, (2) how should a corridor terminus be delineated, (3) how should habitat patches be delineated, and (4) how should linkage design address barrier and management practices? I compared the output of the two programs to see how each would respond to each situation. In general, I found FunConn to be both more sensitive to inputs and a more appropriate representation of the way animals use the landscape. Land Cover Preference was the most sensitive input for both programs.
Thus, correctly classifying the land-cover preference of a corridor target animal has the highest importance to identifying locations for effective connectivity. I also highlight scenarios in which it is more appropriate to use FunConn or Corridor Designer to model animal movement.
A spatially interpolated hierarchical regression model to explicitly predict the distribution of species
Many critical ecological issues require the analysis of large spatial point data sets - for example, modelling species distributions, abundance and spread from survey data. But modelling spatial relationships between occurrences and environmental conditions presents major challenges, particularly as predictions from these models must account for uncertainties in observation, sampling, and parameters. Here we propose a spatially interpolated hierarchical regression model to explicitly predict the distribution of a species. This approach was selected as it allows accounting for the various sources of uncertainty and can incorporate scientific judgment in a probabilistically consistent manner.
The proposed method is based on Royle and Nichols (2003) model and implemented in a maximum likelihood framework. The approach used here differs from previews hierarchical modeling approaches on both the way detection probability is defined (as a function of population parameters) and the use of spatial interpolation techniques to extrapolate the estimated parameters across a region of interest.
The implications and applicability of the proposed methodology is discussed in the context of an application to invasive plant secrecies, and the development of exotics screening programs.
Invasive species were selected as the study organism given their significant impacts on native biotic communities, and the interest of conservation agencies in developing a predictive framework to prevent and reduce the damages caused by biological invasions.
The results from this application showed the main benefits the proposed method. These are its intuitive and simple yet flexible enough framework, which allows to accommodate various specifications and sources of uncertainty (e.g., such as the uncertainty in detection); that it provides a tangible and easy to understand graphical output (in addition to numerical output) where prediction variability is considered and represented; and that its based on rigorous data-driven statistical methodology.
University of Groningen
Foraging areas of Cayenne, Royal and South American terns breeding in northern Patagonia, Argentina
Cayenne (Thalasseus sandvicensis eurygnathus), Royal (Thalasseus maximus) and South American Terns (Sterna hirundinacea) breed sympatrically in Patagonia, Argentina. Very little is known on the breeding foraging areas and feeding patterns of these species and thus studies are needed to understand their role in coastal ecosystems and develop adequate management strategies. We present information on the use of foraging areas by these species at a mixed species colony in the Punta León Protected Area (43º 04’ S, 64º 29’ W), and in the Punta Loma Protected Area (42° 49’ S, 64° 53’ W) Chubut, Argentina. Radio-transmitters were deployed on eight nesting adults of each species, which were tracked during the late incubation. Feeding areas were identified during foraging trips by means of radio-telemetry from the coast, using two fixed tracking stations for each colony, consisting each of two attached 9-element Yagi antennae. Terns foraged often between the colony and 35 km away. However, lack of signal reception in some of these trips, indicate that foraging can also take place in waters further away. In general, individual birds were consistent in the use of one particular area. Implications for foraging area partitioning between terns and the coastal management and conservation guidelines will be discussed.
Alejandro Javier Gatto SCGIS SCHOLAR
Centro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)
GIS application for bird conservation In Nepal
Nepal is rich in biodiversity resource, bird diversity in Nepal is highest that other part of the world. About 824 species of birds are found in Nepal. Because of the rapid population increase, climate change, and use of pesticide in agriculture, birds habitat of Nepal are in great threats. Because of the diverse physiographic and climatic variation bird diversity is high in Nepal but detail information regarding to bird density in regional and local level is still lacking. This paper describes the application of GIS, GPS and Remote Sensing for bird conservation in Nepal. This paper discusses the GIS application to increase the conservation awareness through the research and dissemination. This paper has divided in two parts. First part is related to the management of bird inventory database in a scientific way and prepares various thematic maps. It is very difficult to maintain the coordinate value at micro scale. For convenient, study areas have divided into various blocks and information are kept accordingly. This part also includes the land use land cover change analysis to monitor the bird habitat. Second part of this paper is about the GIS application to increase conservation awareness among the local community to using maps, satellite imageries and GPS devices.
Bashyal Dhruba Sharma SCGIS SCHOLAR
Bird Education Society Nepal
Monday Session 3: GIS in Wildlife Analysis: These 4 papers provide a variety of approaches to the assessment, restoration, analysis and prediction of wildlife populations around the world.
Prioritizing restoration opportunities for steelhead/rainbow trout (O. mykiss) in coastal watersheds of central and southern California.
Salmonid populations in central and southern California are among the most endangered in the United States . With limited funds to restore these populations, identifying and prioritizing locations for restoration are essential, and we have done so for steelhead ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) in coastal California watersheds from the Golden Gate south to the border with Mexico . Our work analyzed hundreds of available references regarding these populations and their rearing habitat in the 331 named watersheds draining to the Pacific Ocean within the study area. Using linear referencing we quantified stream-miles of rearing habitat, and we then used this measure as a proxy for a watershed’s potential to sustain a healthy, productive population. Over the course of the project we also enhanced locational accuracy of barriers to migration and identified active restoration projects. Analyzing these combined parameters provides a method for ranking restoration opportunities.
Our approach will focus restoration efforts upon the region’s most promising locations, helping ensure the conservation of steelhead for future generations and providing an effective mechanism for watershed management.
Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration
The Conservation Success Index: A Range-wide Assessment Tool for Salmonid Fisheries
Increasing our ability to synthesize and compare fisheries assessment data among species and across geographic boundaries should facilitate a better understanding of the broad-scale condition of fish resources and necessary management strategies. We describe the Conservation Success Index (CSI), a geospatial tool developed by Trout Unlimited to analyze the status of native salmonids and develop place-based conservation strategies for protection and restoration efforts across their historic range. The CSI provides a common framework to quantitatively evaluate each species or sub-species across 20 indicators related to range-wide conditions, population and habitat integrity, and future security. The future security assessment includes an expanded analysis of four climate change impacts: increased summer temperature, winter flooding, wildfire, and drought. The CSI was specifically developed to prioritize our organization's conservation work and to assist our members in understanding broad-scale conservation needs, but may be useful to other organizations as a fisheries management, landscape evaluation, or environmental education tool. Trout Unlimited maintains a website for the CSI (www.tu.org/csi), complete with Google Earth and Google Maps applications, to facilitate its use by other groups and individuals.
Spatialization of collection records from Serra dos Órgãos national Park, Brazil.
A survey was carried out to find specimens of fauna and flora collected at Serra dos Órgãos National Park and deposited in various scientific collections in Brazilian institutions. Based on the description of the collection locality, it was possible to map part of the registers. Results show that Serra dos Órgãos region has been studied since the 19th century, that most researchers did not worry about the accuracy of description of their collecting points, and that, nevertheless this preoccupation has been raising recently, we still have many data with low description accuracy, making it difficult to run spatial analyses. Collection points are concentrated around easy access localities, such as the park’s headquarters and some well established trails, leaving space gaps unexplored by science, which may contain different sets of species or even unknown species. Priority areas for research were defined, and new projects will be stimulated to survey these areas.
Cecilia Cronemberger de Faria SCGIS SCHOLAR
Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos
A predictive model of snow leopard habitat change due to shifting climate in the Eastern Himalayan Landscape, Nepal, India, and Bhutan
The Snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is an endangered and cryptic predator inhabiting the mountain ranges in northern and central Asia. In the Eastern Himalayas, where this project takes place, snow leopards tend to be found in high alpine areas, in a narrow belt approximately between 3000-4500m. It is in this zone that snow leopards can spot and easily track down prey such as marmots and blue sheep. This alpine habitat is threatened by climate change, since forest cover is expected to shift upslope in response to changing temperature and precipitation. In this study, we used statistical methods to examine the current climate envelope of the high alpine grassland zone from Nepal, east through the Sikkim region of India, to Bhutan. We next calculated change in monthly temperature and precipitation under medium-high (A2) and medium-low (B2) increased emissions scenarios, using a regional climate model developed by the Hadley Center and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. We used the change model to predict future change in habitat for the snow leopard. The findings help us to recommend ‘climate proof’ management areas for the snow leopard through the year 2100.
World Wildlife Fund
Monday Session 4: Conservation Planning from the bottom up: a practical guide to tools and techniques for the twenty-first century.
This is a workshop on a new conservation planning book being developed by the Craighead Institute and ESRI, to be published in 2010 by ESRI Press. Contributions are being solicited and there will be a major role for GIS experts to become involved in creating example maps, talking about your own cartographic and GIS methodologies, and helping with peer review for the book. Book chapters to be discussed will include:
- Introduction. A Personal History of Conservation Planning. Lance Craighead and Charles Convis
- Landcover Data; the foundation for planning. Tom Olenicki
- Habitat Suitability 1; Identifying important terrestrial habitat and bird habitat for conservation
- Habitat Suitability 2; Identifying important aquatic habitat and marine habitat for conservation. Bob Pressey
- How to Determine Appropriate Focal Species: Selecting Focal Species for a Comprehensive Conservation Umbrella. Eric C. Atkinson & Brent L. Brock
- How to Identify and Map Habitat Cores. Richard Church
- Modeling Conservation Linkages. Peter Singleton [sample outline]
- Analyzing Connectivity in Space and Time. Kevin Johnston.
- How to Develop Optimal, cost-effective solutions. Optimization Models for Reserve Site Selection: An Overview and Case Study. Justin C. Williams
- Planning to ensure viability of populations and metapopulations. Chris Ray
- Integrating conservation planning with local self-sustaining human economies. Murray Rudd and Rich Wallace
- Integrating Conservation Planning Across Multiple Scales. Robert Unnasch
- Integrating Conservation Planning with projected trends in land-use. Dave Theobald
- Integrating Conservation Planning with projected trends in climate change. Dominique Bachelet and Frank Davis
- Summary and Discussion. Frank Davis
Some of the authors listed will be present, subject to confirmation.