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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Dynamic conservation for migratory waterbirds – new publication co-authored by TNC, Cornell, Point Blue

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Coauthored by scientists from: The Nature Conservancy of California, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Point Blue Conservation Science (Matt Reiter, Sam Veloz, Catherine Hickey and Nathan Elliott) and University of Melbourne.

Abstract: In an era of unprecedented and rapid global change, dynamic conservation strategies that tailor the delivery of habitat to when and where it is most needed can be critical for the persistence of species, especially those with diverse and dispersed habitat requirements. We demonstrate the effectiveness of such a strategy for migratory waterbirds.

We analyzed citizen science and satellite data to develop predictive models of bird populations and the availability of wetlands, which we used to determine temporal and spatial gaps in habitat during a vital stage of the annual migration. We then filled those gaps using a reverse auction marketplace to incent qualifying landowners to create temporary wetlands on their properties. This approach is a cost-effective way of adaptively meeting habitat needs for migratory species, optimizes conservation outcomes relative to investment, and can be applied broadly to other conservation challenges.

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