New Audubon Research Reveals Discrepancies in Conservation Planning Strategies

New Audubon Research Reveals Discrepancies in Conservation Planning Strategies

NEW YORK (November 2, 2022) – Researchers on the Nationwide Audubon Society printed a research that evaluated totally different approaches to climate-informed hen conservation in the USA. Utilizing knowledge from Audubon’s Survival by Levels report, researchers in contrast two broadly used conservation planning strategies and decided that they determine totally different precedence areas, with solely 40 p.c consensus on common throughout species teams. Revealed in Ecography, the research provides necessary insights on the right way to strategically preserve extra pure habitats that may assist birds adapt to a altering local weather now and sooner or later.

“Birds inform us that they want extra protected areas to assist them survive, and it’s very important that these pure habitats assist a range of species with a wide selection of wants and shifting ranges over time,” stated Lotem Taylor, major writer of the research and GIS and knowledge science specialist at Audubon. “We all know that pure areas will help shield birds and other people alike from the dangerous results of local weather change. By understanding that totally different planning approaches determine totally different precedence areas, we are able to make it possible for the strategies used higher match conservation objectives.”

The researchers used hen distributions and land cowl projections to match precedence areas derived from two broadly used conservation planning strategies: in situ macrorefugia, recognized as areas of excessive predicted species retention, and complementarity-based optimizations, recognized utilizing conservation planning software program. The research checked out 557 hen species throughout 17 biogeographical teams within the continental U.S., and planning strategies had been in contrast based mostly on 16 metrics regarding biodiversity worth, local weather change publicity, habitat traits, panorama configuration and safety standing. 

Outcomes confirmed that:

  • Spatial distributions of precedence areas differed by biogeographical group and methodology, with solely 40.5% consensus on common throughout teams.
  • Optimizations represented species extra effectively than macrorefugia, particularly for forest teams, and had better general biodiversity worth and higher habitat situation.
  • Macrorefugia encompassed increased elevations and bigger contiguous patches and had been anticipated to expertise much less winter-season warming.

Based mostly on the outcomes, researchers suggest utilizing optimizations to determine conservation areas the place attainable as a result of this network-based method will help make sure that all at-risk hen species are represented. In geographies the place assets are restricted or consensus between totally different prioritization approaches is excessive, they suggest defending the consensus areas since methodology settlement offers elevated confidence of their means to guard birds below local weather change. This deeper understanding of conservation planning will help make sure that the precedence areas recognized to attain area-based targets just like the 30×30 initiative can truly meet conservation objectives. 

In accordance with Audubon’s 2019 report Survival By Levels: 389 Species on the Brink, local weather change threatens greater than two-thirds of North America’s hen species with extinction. Nevertheless, the identical science means that by limiting world warming to 1.5 levels Celsius, greater than three-quarters of weak species might be protected. Audubon’s 2021 Pure Local weather Options Report supplied a scientific framework to assist deal with this existential menace and confirmed that habitats which can be necessary for birds now and sooner or later are additionally essential to decreasing greenhouse emissions given their means to naturally retailer and sequester carbon.

The brand new research is out there right here:

About Audubon
The Nationwide Audubon Society protects birds and the locations they want, at the moment and tomorrow. Audubon works all through the Americas utilizing science, advocacy, schooling, and on-the-ground conservation. State packages, nature facilities, chapters, and companions give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches tens of millions of individuals every year to tell, encourage, and unite various communities in conservation motion. A nonprofit conservation group since 1905, Audubon believes in a world during which individuals and wildlife thrive. Be taught extra at and on Fb, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

Media Contact:
Megan Moriarty, 

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