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Contributing to a core component of the Nature’s Network, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy conducted an analysis on species-habitat associations data to develop a measure of overall species importance, summarized across all species, for each habitat class in the Northeast. This project extended the Habitat Associations project, in which the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative partnered with NatureServe to produce a tabular dataset linking set of terrestrial and aquatic habitat layers with NatureServe element occurrence data for over 600 species of greatest conservation concern identified by states in FWS Region 5. Results data from the analysis were delivered in tabular format and joined to the...
We propose to support the revision and implementation of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s Conservation Blueprint by integrating its Ecosystem Indicators into a structured decision support system that makes explicit how the Indicators are interrelated and how these will respond to management and policy interventions aimed at improving the conservation status of the South Atlantic region. Our specific objectives are to (1) develop ecological production functions that predict theecological impacts of selected conservation actions relative to current conditions, and to propagate these impacts through other affected systems or functions; (2) codify protocols for updating and curating geospatial...
We will develop SMART-SLEUTH, an advanced spatially explicit modeling framework designed to augment the current SLEUTH model with sophisticated smart-growth capabilities. Based on the latest version of SLEUTH, we will create an open-source GIS-enabled software package that will implement SMART-SLEUTH with advanced modules and tools for evaluating, predicting, and visualizing smart growth scenarios and outcomes. In this software package, a more user friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI), a multi-level automatic calibration approach built on machine learning algorithms, and new spatial landscape metrics for quantifying land change patterns will provide enhanced support for complex model configuration, calibration,...
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently completed an unprecedented assessment of almost 14,000 dams in the Northeastern United States. The Northeast Aquatic Connectivity (NAC) project allows fisheries managers and other interested parties to assess dams at multiple scales based on their potential to benefit anadromous and resident fish species if removed or bypassed. This work has continued, with support from NOAA and USFWS, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where data refinements and further analysis have produced a web map and tool that allow users to interactively prioritize dams for mitigation at multiple scales and with varying criteria.The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) has recently completed...
Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Create a Version 2.0 Simple Viewer for the South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint that includes updates, additional data (category priorities, actions, justifications, ownership, and partner data), and dynamic charting of indicators and presentation of ecosystem and analysis unit aggregate indicator scores. Continue to refine and improve the South Atlantic Conservation Planning Atlas (salcc.databasin.org) Provide technical guidance and recommendations about how to structure data and future Viewer platforms to achieve specific functions for future versions of the Blueprint hosted within an interactive viewer and the South Atlantic Conservation Planning Atlas.
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Information on the nature and distribution of permafrost is critical to assessing the response of Arctic ecosystems to climate change, because thawing permafrost under a warming climate will cause thaw settlement and affect micro-topography, surface water redistribution and groundwater movement, soil carbon balance, trace gas emissions, vegetation changes, and habitat use. While a small-scale regional permafrost map is available, as well as information from numerous site-specific large-scale mapping projects, landscape-level mapping of permafrost characteristics is needed for regional modeling and climate impact assessments. The project addresses this need by: (1) compiling existing soil/permafrost data from available...
Describing the social network that links the interconnected partners is the first step to leverage the network’s capacity to be greater than the sum of its parts.The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners and a social network scientist are applying social network theory to create a system of nodes and edges of a Conservation Social Network. Dr. Patrick Bixler is working with partners to quantify the connections and flow of information. A short series of surveys that began in 2015 will measure the baseline dynamics of partner communication and establish a place from which to set benchmarks and future goals. The idea is to better leverage partner expertise and facilitate collaboration across...
Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
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The North Atlantic Region of the United States and Canada boasts diverse habitats, from coasts to mountains, that support endemic and rare plant species. However, recent conservation actions and prioritization efforts in this region have neglected to include plants. We have conducted a conservation assessment for vascular plants that occur in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Using the best scientific data, we have developed a list of vascular plant species of concern for the region. We have refined the list with the input of Natural Heritage and other regional botanists and experts. For each species, we have determined regional conservation responsibility, developed regional ranks, updated...
Vernal or seasonal pools are small, temporary bodies of water that can serve as critical habitat for frogs, salamanders, reptiles, invertebrates, and other species. The first step in developing effective conservation strategies for vernal pools and associated wildlife species is to know where on the landscape these small wetlands exist. Although several several states and organizations in the Northeast region have initiated coordinated vernal pool mapping projects, this information has never been assembled in one place.Currently, the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative (VPDC) consists of over 60,000 vernal pool locations submitted by cooperators representing ten states and two Canadian provinces from Virginia to Quebec’s...
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This project will create a targeted and easily understandable guide to tools that support landscape-level planning in the face of climate change for NPLCC partners. The guide will build on previous NPLCC research on decision support needs with an emphasis on tools currently in use in the region. A survey of NPLCC partners will discover who is currently using or planning to use tools in the region, tools they are using, how well these tools are meeting their needs, and regional and outside experts engaged in tool use. Additional tools research will provide information on tools not currently in use in the region that could also provide needed functionality.
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The central objective of this project was to answer two questions: 1) how downscaled climate datasets, modeled vegetation changes, and information on estimated species sensitivities can be used to develop climate change adaptation strategies, and 2) how model results and datasets can be made more useful for informing the management of species and landscapes. To answer these questions, we identified enthusiastic partners working in two very different complex landscapes within the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC): 1) the British Columbia Park system, specifically the midcoast region, and 2) the National Wildlife Refuge system in the Willamette Valley, OR. The issues and concerns of each group...
The Rio Grande/Río Bravo is the lifeline of the region, including the Chihuahuan Desert, supplying drinking water for more than 6 million people, including numerous Native American tribes, and irrigating about 2 million acres of land. The river also forms about 1250 miles of the international border between the United States and Mexico from El Paso/Ciudad Juarez to the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande/Río Bravo and its tributaries are increasingly stressed by growing water demands, invasive species, and alterations that impact its flow and water quality.These stressors are likely to be exacerbated by extreme droughts and floods.The South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) has funded projects to synthesize the...
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The Quartz Valley Indian Reservation will partner with tribes, federal agencies and higher education institutions in the Klamath Basin on a tribal youth intern program for the summer of 2014. This program will build on current efforts to integrate western science and TEK for climate change planning and adaptation in the Klamath Basin.
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The Data Needs Assessment research project was undertaken to review the variety of resources on conservation planning to provide packages of products, data, and identified data gaps to improve conservation planning in the Appalachian LCC. A suite of core conservation planning products and data from principal investigators at Clemson University are now available to the Cooperative.“Deliverables from this research include:An analysis of State Wildlife Action Plans in the Appalachian LCC that describe how information contained in these plans can be linked to integrate state and local-scale efforts into a regional conservation framework;A list of 21 conservation planning tools, describing function and relevance of each...
Determining species occurrence in ecosystems of high conservation concern is especially important for recommending habitat management techniques and identifying suitable restoration sites. We investigated (1) how stand- and landscape-scale attributes affect occupancy of priority bird species associated with longleaf pine (Pinus palutris) ecosystems, (2) if these priority birds can be used as indicator species for desired open pine forest structure, and (3) if these indicator species are positively correlated with greater avian richness. We compared priority bird occupancy among 12 stand types (habitat types) throughout the historic range of longleaf pine in Mississippi. We found stands resembling the historic longleaf...
This report enumerates the methodology and results of mapping glades in a total of 173 7.5 minute quadrangle maps for the Ozark Highlands Section of northern Arkansas during the 11 month reporting period commencing June of 2014 and ending May 20, 2015. When combined with the previous mapping during 2013-2014, the grand totals for all glades mapped in Arkansas are 29,810 glade polygons totaling 44,107 acres in 221 7.5 minute quadrangle maps. The Ozark Highlands Ecological Section was completed.The latest resulting glade shapefile reflects assignment of rock substrates that correspond to the Missouri glade rock types. The author decided to assign rock types based on accumulated knowledge, actual field verifications,...
The balance between economic needs and natural resource conservation will become more tenuous in the future as a result of a myriad of environmental stressors. We propose a methodology that can help guide forest management practices whenever adequate species locational data and quality forest or land use data exist. More specifically, the results of this study can be used to evaluate alternative land and silviculture management scenarios in terms of creating or maintaining high-quality forest habitat for a specific species. We used data collected on radiotelemetered black bears from 1988 to 2015 to develop a regional habitat model throughout Louisiana and Arkansas using Mahalanobis distance (D2) statistic. We created...


map background search result map search result map NPLCC Guide to Planning Tools Applying Vulnerability Assessment Tools to Plan for Climate Adaptation:  Case Studies in the North Pacific LCC - Final Report Final Report: Cultural Adaptation Through Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Climate Change Climate change and Tribal Ecological Knowledge Summer Internship Presentation Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic Region Data Needs Assessment Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Permafrost Database Development, Characterization, and Mapping for Northern Alaska NPLCC Guide to Planning Tools Final Report: Cultural Adaptation Through Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Climate Change Climate change and Tribal Ecological Knowledge Summer Internship Presentation Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Permafrost Database Development, Characterization, and Mapping for Northern Alaska Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic Region Data Needs Assessment Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Applying Vulnerability Assessment Tools to Plan for Climate Adaptation:  Case Studies in the North Pacific LCC - Final Report