The SCGIS/ESRI/SCB International Conservation Mapping Contest

cons  scgis







Andrew Cottam, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UK  with
Szabolcs Nagy (Wetlands International) and Vicky Jones (Birdlife International),  

dThe Critical Site Network (CSN) tool is a web mapping application whose
purpose is to support the conservation of migratory birds in the Africa-Eurasian
region. The CSN tool brings together a number databases from a range of
organisations to provide information on the most important sites for migratory
bird species. Up until now this data was not widely accesible or integrated so it
was difficult to understand where the most important sites were and which
ones should be conservation priorities. This web mapping application has been
designed to address these issues by bringing the data together in both an
intuitive and powerful way.
The main audiences for the CSN tool are Bird-related NGOs, government
policy-makers, local conservation organisation managing wildlife sites,
researchers and scientists. Each of these users has a discrete set of questions
that can be addressed by the CSN tool.
In overall terms the main objectives of the site are to:
• Highlight the most important sites for a species flyway
• Understand which sites are important at which times of the year
• Identify which sites are protected and which ones need protection
• Investigate how these factors are affected by external threats, land uses etc.
The following paragraphs describe the main features of the CSN tool and how
they have been designed and incorporated into the site to promote its wide

Logan Berner , Hilo, Hawaii

The Hawaiian archipelago, spanning nearly 2,400 km, is the most isolated island-chain in the world and is home to many endemic and endangered species. During the past century, the rapid influx of invasive species has resulted the destruction of native ecosystems, extinction of endemic species, adverse impacts on the regional economy, and harm to culturally-significant areas. Molucca albizia (Falcataria moluccana) is a N2-fixing tree from Southeast Asia that was introduced extensively throughout the Pacific Islands as part of reforestation efforts, but which is now considered invasive in wet, lowland forests. On Hawai’i Island, there are few remaining intact lowland forests and F. moluccana poses a significant threat to those that remain. Additionally, there is growing concern over the spread of the tree in urban areas on the eastern side of Hawai’i Island, where wind-thrown trees have caused fatalities and damaged homes, roads, power lines, and other infrastructure. While the potential social and environmental impacts of F. moluccana are quite substantial, little has been done by resource management agencies to delineate the extent of the problem or to develop a strategy aimed at minimizing deleterious impacts.
Concern by the Piihonua Community Association (PCA) over the spread of F. moluccana within their Hilo neighborhood prompted the association to contact their legislative representative, Senator Takamine, who helped to subsequently convene a community task force with representatives from county, state, and federal agencies. The scope of the problem was unclear, as the full extent of F. moluccana in the greater Piihonua area was unknown. From December 2010 to February 2011, I attended PCA and task force meetings as an interested neighborhood resident and a volunteer with the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (a partnership for invasive species response). I offered to conduct a mapping project aimed at determining the extent of the problem in both the neighborhood and surrounding area. I hoped that in doing so, it would be possible to convey to both the community and task force that the spread of F. moluccana was, in addition to a neighborhood-level problem, a regional problem, affecting urban areas and lowland forests. Ultimately, Hawai’i Island needs a comprehensive, inter-agency strategy for minimizing the societal and environmental impacts caused by this invasive species. Supporting the task force was a way of helping foster a dialog among the community and resource management agencies regarding the local and regional impacts of F. moluccana, as well as what could be done about the spread of the noxious tree.. FULL ESSAY .

Lori Scott, NatureServe Washington DC,
with Frank Biasi (National Geographic Society) on behalf of the LandScope America team 

dLandScope America is a unique partnership between NatureServe and the National Geographic Society to inspire and inform the conservation of America’s natural places. Our audience is the land protection community and the public – the land trusts, government planners, natural resource managers and citizens who are directly involved in the conservation of our land and waters. LandScope’s dynamic map viewer contains more than 150 layers from national to local scales organized into five themes (conservation priorities, protected areas, threats, ecosystems, and plants & animals). Users can explore their area of interest through both maps and media, bringing these special places to life through the stories, photos, and videos that are “pinned” to the map. Decision-makers can make use of the many detailed map layers assembled together in LandScope to quickly assess the conservation values, opportunities, and threats of a particular location. This information-rich resource decreases the cost of conservation research and planning and facilitates coordinated action by different groups of users organized around the places that matter to them. FULL ESSAY .


Brian Kazmerik, Andrew Pratt, Bill Tedford, Gord Mathews, Ducks Unlimited Canada,
with Sasa Ivetic, Map It Out

Ducks Unlimited Canada, the North American Wetlands Council (Canada) and partners have developed a status map to show areas of the country where a CWI-compatible inventory is either in progress or complete. Until now there has been no “one stop” website to access this type of information, especially in a geospatial context. A significant portion of Canada has been mapped or is in progress. The purpose of this application is to provide partners, communities of interest and the public with access to an interactive progress map which shows the location, status and other important information about CWI-compatible inventories across Canada. By clicking on an inventory polygon you can find the agency responsible for the inventory along with the year, status, size, contact information and partners involved. This map application also permits the visualization of detailed wetland polygons and attribute information for certain areas where wetland inventory data have been made available. FULL ESSAY . SCREENSHOT2


Christopher Walter, Cascade Land Conservancy
, WA

dThe Problem:
Seattle rests along the shore of Puget Sound on glacier-carved hills below the volcanic Cascade Mountains within what used to be a vast primordial forest dominated by majestic conifer trees that grew to heights well above 200 feet. With rich volcanic soils and a Medeterranean climate that is relatively warm and wet during the winter, dry and cool in the summer, plants of all types thrive in the Puget Lowlands. As the hub of the Northwest’s vibrant economy, thousands of tons of materials from all around the world arrive daily in the Port of Seattle. One of the ramifications of the coincedence of these economic and ecological forces is that Washington's Puget Sound region is plagued with a critical infestation of invasive plants.

After 150 years of logging, view clearing and other landscape-altering processes that come along with urban development, our remnant forests are aging and inundated with invasive plants. Most of our urban trees - primarily quick-growing and short-lived deciduous species that were the first to regenerate after old growth forests were clearcut a century ago - are near the end of their natural lives. Exotic invasives like English ivy climb these remaining trees, rob them of nutrients and sunlight, and act as a “sail” in high winds to topple them over. Others, like Himalayan blackberry, Scot’s broom and Japanese knotweed, crowd out native understory that protects soils and sustains wildlife, and choke off any tree seedlings that would replace today’s forest

Within 20 years, experts estimate that 70% of Seattle’s urban forest will become an ecological dead zone where invasive plants predominate, trees are dead or dying and wildlife habitat is gone.

Our remaining urban forests are the backbone of the city’s green infrastructure, providing an estimated $1.75M annualy in ecosystem services. Seattle residents rely on their forests to mitigate noise, air and water pollution. Healthy forests combat climate change, provide wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities and scenic views essential to our quality of life. Properly restored and cared for, our urban forests are invaluable assets that will continue to serve the community. FULL ESSAY . FULL PDF MAP(22mb) .

Will Allen, The Conservation Fund, NC,  with Jazmin Varela (The Conservation Fund)

dThis map was prepared by The Conservation Fund as part of the Nashville: Naturally initiative (a partner list is provided on the top left of the map). The primary purpose of the map was to educate the community on its water and wildlife resources during a public forum of the Nashville: Naturally initiative in September 2010.  The forum and the associated maps were key elements in the development of an open space plan for Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee. As a result of the maps shown in the meeting, the public 'voted' on resource priorities for implementation of the open space plan. This plan, with a detailed set of conservation priorities, policy recommendations, and benchmarks for success, is scheduled to be released in April 2011. Through a multi-step public involvement process, four key themes were identified for the open space plan, one of which was Connecting Water and Wildlife Networks (the others involved recreation, farming, and historic/iconic resources). A green infrastructure network design GIS layer was created, which represents an interconnected network of land and water that provides clean air, clean water, and other economic, environmental, and social benefits for people and nature. Put simply these areas were most suitable for protection of societal needs involving land and water resource protection. More information on the green infrastructure network design approach is available at: FULL ESSAY . FULL PDF MAP(18mb)


Lucia Morales Barquero,  School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, University of Bangor, UK, with Ruben Venegas Li

dZonification Map of Kecamatan Pulau Banyak, Aceh, Sumatra

Kecamatan Pulau Banyak is an archipelago located off the west coast of Sumatra (about 4.5 hrs by boat), Regency of Singkil, in the south of the province of Aceh Darussalam. More specifically, the area is located between 97°3'40" and 97°27'58"E longitude; and 1°58'25"N- 2°22'25"N latitude.

Pulau Banyak consists of approximately 70 islands. It has an important range of habitats, such as coral reefs, sea grass and algae patches, freshwater swamps, mangrove forests and lowland tropical rainforests. All these habitats are home to a high diversity of plants and animals, some of them still to discover, and many of them (including mouse deer, coral species, reef fishes, dugongs and 3 species of sea turtles) under some category of protection by IUCN. . FULL ESSAY . FULL MAP(36mb)

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