Nav: Home

Scientists seek national wildlife conservation network

October 22, 2012

Fairbanks, Alaska--Wildlife conservation efforts in the United States are facing habitat loss, climate change and major reductions in funding. To address these threats, a group of prominent wildlife biologists and policy experts is recommending the formation of a state-based national conservation-support network. Their proposal is published in the November issue of the journal BioScience.

"We surveyed wildlife managers from every state and territory to assess the state of the wildlife conservation system," said co-author Brad Griffith, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and University of Alaska Fairbanks. "We kept hearing 'we don't have the maps we need' and 'we don't have current tools.' It was clear after listening to all these folks that better coordination of resources and planning among states, across regions and nationwide could make our conservation efforts more effective and efficient."

The proposed network, which would bring together state, federal, nongovernmental and private initiatives, has five goals: establish a common habitat classification map, identify at-risk species not currently managed federally, coordinate planning opportunities, disseminate planning information and document the potential uses of new conservation data tools.

"Individual state wildlife action plans provide a strong foundation for biodiversity conservation, but a state-by-state approach does not protect ecosystems and habitats that extend across state borders and occur at regional and national scales," said Griffith, the leader of the USGS Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in UAF's Institute of Arctic Biology. "This approach also does not enable states to address species that are declining throughout a multistate range, but are not yet endangered or threatened."

The authors suggest that a program to support state wildlife agencies be independent, rather than housed within a federal agency because of the potential for relatively frequent administrative changes in focus and support for conservation philosophies and actions.

"A national conservation-support network could work to identify large-scale conservation challenges and facilitate their resolution," Griffith said. "This network could integrate local and regional efforts, enhance large-scale conservation, and advance collaborative conservation among states and their partners. It would make the most efficient use of limited conservation funds, maintain ecological integrity and ecosystem services and reduce the need for more stringent environmental protections."
-end-
Other co-authors are: Vicky Meretsky of Indiana University Bloomington, Lynn Maguire of Duke University, Frank Davis and David Stoms of the University of California at Santa Barbara, J. Michael Scott and Dale Goble of the University of Idaho, Dennis Figg of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Scott Henke of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Jacqueline Vaughn of Northern Arizona University and Steven Yaffee of the University of Michigan.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Related Climate Change Articles:

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).
Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.
Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.
Could climate change cause infertility?
A number of plant and animal species could find it increasingly difficult to reproduce if climate change worsens and global temperatures become more extreme -- a stark warning highlighted by new scientific research.
Predicting climate change
Thomas Crowther, ETH Zurich identifies long-disappeared forests available for restoration across the world.
More Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...