Dynamic conservation and multiple objectives: delivering cost-effective habitat for migratory birds in agricultural landscapes.

Mark Reynolds1, Rodd Kelsey2, Greg Golet3, Matt Merrifield4, Eric Hallstein5, Catherine Hickey6, Meghan Hertel7, Sandi Matsumoto8, Matt Reiter9, Steve Kelling10, Brian Sullivan11 and Scott Morrison12

1 The Nature Conservancy, 201 Mission Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, mreynolds@tnc.org

2 The Nature Conservancy, 555 Capitol Mall, Suite 1290. Sacramento, CA 95814, rkelsey@tnc.org

3 The Nature Conservancy, 190 Cohasset Rd # 177, Chico, CA 95926, Chico, CA, ggolet@tnc.org

4 The Nature Conservancy, 201 Mission Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, mmerrifield@tnc.org

5 The Nature Conservancy, 201 Mission Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94925, ehallstein@tnc.org

6 Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Dr, Petaluma, CA 94954, chickey@pointblue.org

7 Audubon California, 765 University Ave # 200, Sacramento, CA 95825, mhertel@audubon.org

8 The Nature Conservancy, 555 Capitol Mall, Suite 1290. Sacramento, CA 95814, smatsumoto@tnc.org

9 Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Dr, Petaluma, CA 94954, mreiter@pointblue.org

10 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, stk2@cornell.edu

11 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, bls42@cornell.edu

12 The Nature Conservancy, 201 Mission Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, smorrison@tnc.org

 

 

Conservation of migratory species on private agricultural lands poses many challenges. In our programs, we strive to create and incentivize the most effective management practices to conserve biodiversity in durable ways that work for farmers. However, this objective is challenged by poor information about movements of species and habitat availability, a lack of tools for deploying conservation actions efficiently, and the high cost of implementation at meaningful scales.  In addition, agricultural landscapes are spatially and temporally dynamic, adding to the complexity of delivering valuable habitat reliably. We have been developing and testing new approaches and tools to address these challenges, as applied to creating habitat for migratory waterbirds  at the right times and places in intensively cultivated agricultural landscapes of California. Working with farmers, agencies, and research partners, we have applied big data analytics and emerging precision science tools to enable more targeted delivery of habitat investments on farmlands and have coupled these tools with a novel habitat procurement market in which farmers are paid to modify their practices in order to create bird habitat. These approaches to delivering temporary habitat meet the needs of migratory species and the practical reality of sourcing habitat from a dynamic, intensive agricultural system.  Through agency and industry collaborations we have partnered with over 200 farmers, and delivered over 90,000 hectares of habitat, demonstrating the large-scale applicability of these approaches, as a nimble and cost-effect complement to traditional permanent protection strategies.

 

 

Species on the Move

If you would like more information about the outcomes of Species on the Move 2016 or plans for the next Species on the Move Conference please contact Associate Gretta Pecl.

The next conference is likely to be in 2019 at Kruger National Park in South Africa.

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