The PFLCC has recently completed a set of comprehensive conservation planning scenarios for the state of Florida. This represents the first statewide effort to assess likely alternative futures for conservation considering an array of financial, biological, climatological and urbanistic conditions. These spatially explicit and temporal scenarios simulate both urban growth and climate change and identify the most suitable areas for conservation given the resulting land use pattern. Conservation allocations are based on both fee-title and conservation easements.The conservation priorities and mechanisms expressed in these scenarios are based on a wide set of contributing factors, and simulated conservation is purposefully limited to projected budgets. Therefore, while the scenarios are optimized relative to broad conservation goals, it is not yet known how they perform relative to specific conservation issues of statewide importance. As an important step in the PFLCC’s broader process of developing quantitative priority resource objectives, we propose to characterize species, habitats and strategic habitat conservation areas most at risk in these scenarios.The proposed methodology includes three major steps which have been found to be effective in previous scenario analyses with State LCC partners. The first is expert review and refinement of existing wildlife habitat relationship (WHR) models and associated maps. The second is a spatiotemporal impact assessment based on spatial buffering and overlay of scenario-predicted land use or land cover changes. The third is expert review of current conservation plans for the selected species, and refinement of these relative to expected urbanization and climate change patterns and land tenure.
Species habitat grids were obtained from the Florida Freshwater Fish and Wildlife Commission. Focal species were a subset of species found in the Wildlife Habitat Conservation Needs in Florida. Species included are listed below. Most of the habitats are based on predictive habitat models developed using threshold rules and converted to a presence/absence format, with the exception of the beach mice, where habitat was based upon occurrence data, and the Eastern Indigo Snake that had a probability of occupancy model.
Anastasia Island beach mouse Peromyscus polionotus phasmaSt. Andrews beach mouse Peromyscuspolionotus peninsularisAudubon’s crested caracara Polyborus plancus auduboniiBig Cypress fox squirrel Sciurus niger avicenniaCuban snowly plover Caradrius alexandrinus tenuirostrisEastern Indigo Snake Drymarchon couperiFlorida black bear Ursus americanus floridanusFlorida sandhill crane Grus canadensis pratensisGopher Frog Ranan capitoGopher tortoise Gopherus PolyphemusMarian’s Marsh Wren Cistohorus palustris marianaeWorthington’s Wren Cistohorus palustris griseus
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