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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Grasslands are a biome in collapse. Seventy-five percent of grassland birds are declining with some species nearing threatened and endangered status. Despite this urgency, we lack spatially explicit prioritization tools to implement conservation at scale across the Great Plains and Chihuahuan Desert. Here, we build upon the modeling approach of the Central Grasslands Avian Modeling Project (CGAMP) by combining data from across diverse disciplines to spatially prioritize habitat protection and restoration efforts across the full-annual cycle that maximize conservation return on investment. Specifically, we will use the integer linear programming algorithm approach to integrate data products (i.e., avian density, risk of conversion, climate, socio-economic and indigenous traditional ecological knowledge) and optimize spatial priorities for conservation delivery. The transdisciplinary working group will leverage NCEAS facilitation and computational resources to advance this effort. Specifically, we aim to integrate biological science, human dimensions, economics, and indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. A science communication expert will support the messaging and outreach to diverse stakeholders. Data products will support conservation prioritization for a diverse set of partners active in grassland conservation while simultaneously facilitating a longer-term grassland bird working group.

Morpho Grassland Birds Group Photo
A group shot of the Morpho grassland birds group during their May 2023 visit to NCEAS.

Principal Investigator(s)

Brandt Ryder, John Carlson, Chris Latimer, Barry Robinson

Project Dates

Start: September 1, 2022

End: September 30, 2024



Drew Bennett
University of Wyoming
Tom Bonnot
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Emily Boyd-Valandra
Rose Bud Souix Tribe
John Carlson
US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Miyoko Chu
Cornell University
Jim Giocomo
American Bird Conservancy
Shaun Grassel
Maggie Hanna
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Katie Holland
Carrie V. Kappel
University of California, Santa Barbara
Chris Latimer
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Sarah Olimb
World Wildlife Fund
Imtiaz Rangwala
University of Colorado, Denver
Ben Rashford
University of Wyoming
Barry Robinson
Environment Climate Change Canada
Amanda Rodewald
Cornell University
Beth Ross
US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Irene Ruvalcaba
Universidad Autonoma de Nueva Leon
Brandt Ryder
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Dirac Twidwell
Natural Resource Conservation Service