Browsing by Subject "Conservation planning"

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  • Virtanen, Elina A.; Söderholm, Maria; Moilanen, Atte (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2022)
    Conservation planning addresses the development and expansion of protected areas and requires data on for instance species, habitats, and biodiversity. Data on threats is often minimal, although necessary in conservation planning. In principle, threats should guide which conservation actions to take and where, and how to allocate resources. The lack of threat information may also limit the validity of areas to be conserved, if the condition of areas is degraded by threats unknown. The protocol described here outlines the methodology for a systematic review to explore how threats are theoretically and methodologically understood and used in conservation plans across freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments. Our primary research question is: how have threats informed conservation planning? Studies will be categorized according to the types of threats and conservation features used, theoretical and methodological approaches applied, geographical context, and biome. The results are expected to increase our understanding about how threats can and should be addressed in conservation planning.
  • Lehtomäki, Joona; Moilanen, Atte (2013)
    Spatial conservation prioritization concerns the effective allocation of conservation action. Its stages include development of an ecologically based model of conservation value, data pre-processing, spatial prioritization analysis, and interpretation of results for conservation action. Here we investigate the details of each stage for analyses done using the Zonation prioritization framework. While there is much literature about analytical methods implemented in Zonation, there is only scattered information available about what happens before and after the computational analysis. Here we fill this information gap by summarizing the pre-analysis and post-analysis stages of the Zonation framework. Concerning the entire process, we summarize the full workflow and list examples of operational best-case, worst- case, and typical scenarios for each analysis stage. We discuss resources needed in different analysis stages. We also discuss benefits, disadvantages, and risks involved in the application of spatial prioriti- zation from the perspective of different stakeholders. Concerning pre-analysis stages, we explain the development of the ecological model and discuss the setting of priority weights and connectivity re- sponses. We also explain practical aspects of data pre-processing and the post-processing interpretation of results for different conservation objectives. This work facilitates well-informed design and application of Zonation analyses for the purpose of spatial conservation planning. It should be useful for both sci- entists working on conservation related research as well as for practitioners looking for useful tools for conservation resource allocation
  • Trivino, Maria; Kujala, Heini; Araujo, Miguel B.; Cabeza, Mar (2018)
    Species are expected to shift their distributions in response to global environmental changes and additional protected areas are needed to encompass the corresponding changes in the distributions of their habitats. Conservation policies are likely to become obsolete unless they integrate the potential impacts of climate and land-use change on biodiversity. We identify conservation priority areas for current and future projected distributions of Iberian bird species. We then investigate the extent to which global change informed priority areas are: (i) covered by existing protected area networks (national protected areas and Natura 2000); (ii) threatened by agricultural or urban land-use changes. We use outputs of species distributions models fitted with climatic data as inputs in spatial prioritization tools to identify conservation priority areas for 168 bird species. We use projections of land-use change to then discriminate between threatened and non-threatened priority areas. 19% of the priority areas for birds are covered by national protected areas and 23% are covered by Natura 2000 sites. The spatial mismatch between protected area networks and priority areas for birds is projected to increase with climate change. But there are opportunities to improve the protection of birds under climate change, as half of the priority areas are currently neither protected nor in conflict with urban or agricultural land-uses. We identify critical areas for bird conservation both under current and climate change conditions, and propose that they could guide the establishment of new conservation areas across the Iberian Peninsula complementing existing protected areas.
  • Lehtomäki, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In a world of competing interests and increasing land use pressures, the allocation of limited resources for biodiversity conservation need to be prioritized. Spatial conservation prioritization deals with the cost-efficient and well-balanced identification of priority areas for biodiversity, as well as with the allocation and scheduling of alternative conservation actions. Finland is the most forested country in Europe, but more than 90 percents of Finland s forests are under commercial management. A history of widespread and relatively intensive forest management has led to many specialist species and habitats becoming threatened. At the same time, the protected area network is unequally distributed over the country, with largest areas in the north where species diversity is lowest. Consequently, the current main priority for conservation action for forest habitats is expanding the protected area network in the southern parts of the country in an ecologically justified way. In this thesis, I have three specific objectives. First, I examine the suitability of commonly available forest inventory data for informative high-resolution spatial conservation prioritization. Second, I clarify the effects of spatial scale and connectivity on spatial conservation prioritization at regional and national extents. Finally, I develop, demonstrate, and implement a practical workflow for regional- and national-scale forest conservation management planning in Finland, using the Zonation framework and software for spatial prioritization. I show how habitat quality indices based on forest inventory data and expert knowledge can be used as a basis of conservation prioritization. Comparison against validation datasets reveals that the analyses do indeed produce informative priorities. Case studies involving the expansion of the national protected area network both on public and private land demonstrate how the results can be applied in the context of a national forest conservation program, METSO. The spatial resolution of input data should closely match those of the planning objectives and the ecological processes involved. Furthermore, the level of detail in the forest inventory data defines how well the prioritization is able to identify small occurrences of important forest types and key habitats. The quality and the quantity of suitable habitat between protected areas are important for many forest species. Accounting for connectivity in the prioritization analyses produces spatially more aggregated priority patterns. However, emphasizing connectivity will lower the relative value of locally high quality, but poorly connected sites. Therefore, the balance between connectivity and local habitat quality merits careful consideration in spatial prioritization. The thesis highlights important factors. First, data availability often restricts the types of prioritization analyses that can be undertaken. Therefore, long-term development of high-quality open access data is crucial for making best use of spatial prioritization approaches. Second, establishing a conceptual model for the prioritization process can help formulate the right questions, to select the most suitable tools, and to estimate the costs and benefits involved. Finally, a successful conservation prioritization requires participation of experts and stakeholders. Methods, analyses, workflows and visualization techniques summarized in this thesis can serve as starting points for other similar applications elsewhere and support meeting local, regional and global conservation goals.
  • Moilanen, Atte; Laitila, Jussi; Vaahtoranta, Timo; Dicks, Lynn V.; Sutherland, William J. (2014)