Integrating telemetry-derived data into spatial decision-making and prioritization frameworks

Jennifer McGowan (1), Alienor Chauvenet (2), Hugh Possingham (3)

1    Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The University of Queensland, St  Lucia, QLD, 4072, @j_a_mcgowan

2    Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, 4072, @AChauvenet

3    Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, The  University of  Queensland, St  Lucia,  QLD, 4072, @hugepossum

Spatial planning strategies for conserving mobile marine species primarily focus on the protection of nesting or breeding sites and predictable coastal foraging habitats. Yet, conservation of these areas alone does not protect the migratory life stages, where many threatened mobile species continue to face population declines and mortality at sea. Although some protection of pelagic and key foraging habitats occurs incidentally, most pelagic pathways where species experience incidental mortality from artisanal fishing, commercial bycatch or targeted consumption remain exposed. We address this conservation deficiency by developing novel, quantative methods to incorporate telemetry and tracking data into conservation planning approaches. Our case studies illustrate how conservation planners can translate spatiotemporal variability in individuals movements into quantitative spatial planning objectives for highly mobile marine species. We investigate optimal spatial management strategies for pelagic protected areas (static/seasonal closures and gear modification zones) that minimize the probability of mobile species bycatch occuring across all taxa. Combining individual movement data with at sea threats from artisanal and commercial fishing, we identify areas and conservation actions that reduce the likelihoods of mortality from anthropogenic pressures.

Species on the Move

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The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.

Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

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