Skip to content

New Audubon Research Reveals Discrepancies in Conservation Planning Strategies


    NEW YORK (November 2, 2022) – Researchers on the Nationwide Audubon Society revealed a research that evaluated completely different approaches to climate-informed chook conservation in the US. Utilizing knowledge from Audubon’s Survival by Levels report, researchers in contrast two broadly used conservation planning strategies and decided that they establish completely different precedence areas, with solely 40 % consensus on common throughout species teams. Printed in Ecography, the research gives necessary insights on how you can strategically preserve extra pure habitats that can 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 important that these pure habitats assist a variety of species with a big selection of wants and shifting ranges over time,” mentioned Lotem Taylor, main creator of the research and GIS and knowledge science specialist at Audubon. “We all know that pure areas might help shield birds and folks alike from the dangerous results of local weather change. By understanding that completely different planning approaches establish completely different precedence areas, we will be sure that the strategies used higher match conservation objectives.”

    The researchers used chook 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 chook species throughout 17 biogeographical teams within the continental U.S., and planning strategies had been in contrast primarily based on 16 metrics referring to 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 higher general biodiversity worth and higher habitat situation.
    • Macrorefugia encompassed greater elevations and bigger contiguous patches and had been anticipated to expertise much less winter-season warming.

    Based mostly on the outcomes, researchers advocate utilizing optimizations to establish conservation areas the place doable as a result of this network-based method might help make sure that all at-risk chook species are represented. In geographies the place sources are restricted or consensus between completely different prioritization approaches is excessive, they advocate defending the consensus areas since methodology settlement supplies elevated confidence of their capacity to guard birds below local weather change. This deeper understanding of conservation planning might help make sure that the precedence areas recognized to attain area-based targets just like the 30×30 initiative can really 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 chook species with extinction. Nonetheless, 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 offered a scientific framework to assist deal with this existential risk and confirmed that habitats which might be necessary for birds now and sooner or later are additionally vital to decreasing greenhouse emissions given their capacity to naturally retailer and sequester carbon.

    The brand new research is offered right here:

    About Audubon
    The Nationwide Audubon Society protects birds and the locations they want, immediately 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 annually 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. Study extra at and on Fb, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

    Media Contact:
    Megan Moriarty, [email protected]