Forecasting the Influence of Conservation Strategies on Landscape Connectivity
May 24, 2022
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Improving landscape connectivity can help to reduce biodiversity declines due to habitat fragmentation and support adaptation to climate change as species move following their climate envelopes. The expansion of protected area networks is one common approach to enhance connectivity, but not all strategies guiding land acquisition and restoration for protected area development will prove equally beneficial. Decisions about which strategies to employ to meet conservation targets will result in protected area networks with variable, and species-dependent, contributions to landscape connectivity. These decisions can benefit from technological advances in simulation modeling, which can now forecast landscape responses to both management and environmental change allowing for the assessment of conservation strategies prior to implementation. In this talk, we will highlight a new approach for evaluating conservation alternatives for protected area network development and their contributions to landscape connectivity prior to on-the-ground deployment. We will discuss ways in which this approach can support managers seeking to facilitate connectivity on their landscapes and help them to prioritize strategies that best meets the connectivity needs of their focal species.