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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Conservation area design (CAD) is being used by many landscape-scale conservation efforts in western North America to establish geographic priorities and to raise awareness within the scientific, practitioner, and lay communities of the importance of critical areas. However, CAD techniques currently cannot evaluate factors that allow species and their resources to persist over time. These factors include land-cover connectivity and the resilience of reserve networks to ecological processes such as fire. Several new methods for CAD are emerging that have the potential to improve greatly on past methods. These new methods are unfamiliar to most practitioners, and no comparative evaluation of their usefulness in different contexts exists. Participants will test and compare new tools by applying them to conservation-planning challenges in several geographic areas in North America. Participants also will develop a manual that evaluates new software tools for connectivity analysis, with guidelines for use of those tools. Ultimately, the group will develop a software toolkit and guidelines for its use that would be applicable to landscape-scale conservation planning in any region.

Principal Investigator(s)

Carlos Carroll, Erica Fleishman

Project Dates

Start: March 12, 2007

End: July 17, 2008



Paul Beier
Northern Arizona University
Mar Cabeza
Metapopulation Research Group
Carlos Carroll
Klamath Center for Conservation Research
Ellen I. Damschen
University of California, Santa Barbara
Frank W. Davis
University of California, Santa Barbara
Jeff Dunk
USDA Forest Service
John Fay
Duke University
Erica Fleishman
University of California, Santa Barbara
Lee Hannah
University of California, Santa Barbara
Heini Kujala
University of Helsinki
Matthias Leu
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Brad H. McRae
University of California, Santa Barbara
Atte Moilanen
University of Helsinki
Theresa Nogeire
University of California, Santa Barbara
Barry R. Noon
Colorado State University
Steven J. Phillips
AT&T Labs-Research
Robert Pressey
University of Queensland
Steven R. Schill
The Nature Conservancy
Fiona Schmiegelow
University of Alberta
Nathan H. Schumaker
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Dan Segan
University of Queensland
Gary Tabor
Center for Large Landscape Conservation
David M. Theobald
Colorado State University
Dean Urban
Duke University