A Biodiversity Scorecard Approach to Assessing Conservation Status & Protection and Management

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A Biodiversity Scorecard Approach
to Assessing Conservation Status &
Protection and Management
Marie Venner, 303-798-5333
[email protected]
Objective
• Develop an intuitive, repeatable, easy-tounderstand approach for evaluating the
viability and status of Colorado’s biodiversity.
•
Identify measurable attributes which quantify
viability and conservation status
•
Produce summary statistics
Components of Conservation Success
Biodiversity Status
(abundance and quality)
Effectively
Conserved
Threat Status
current and potential future threats to “target”
Protection/Management Status
Scope of Pilot Project
• 92 Plant Species
Evaluated all rare (G1-G2)
• 180 Animal Species
Evaluated all Tier 1 species
• 11 Ecological systems
Evaluated all “matrixforming” systems
Example of Attributes for Animals and Plants
(Scored from 0-10)
• Number of individuals
• Number of occurrences (populations)
• Occupied area
• Number of occurrences with good viability
• Short and long-term trends
• Threats (scope, severity, and immediacy)
• Percent protected and semi-protected
Examples of Attributes for Ecological Systems
(Scored from 0-10)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Proportion of total acres in patches of “preferred” size
Percent natural vegetation within ½ mile of patches
Landscape integrity
Fire condition index
Energy development potential
Projected population growth and development
Potential for future transportation development
Protection level
Examples of Landscape Integrity Layers
(e.g., patterns of land use, integrity, and fragmentation)
Oil & Gas
Agriculture
Development
Primary &
Secondary Roads
Landscape integrity
Cumulative High and medium impacts from roads,
oil & gas wells, urban development, agriculture
Future Threats
Transportation development
Population growth
Energy development
Excerpt from Plant Scorecard
Aletes humilis (Larimer aletes) – G2G3 S2S3
This species is
“effectively conserved”
Aletes humilis (G2G3/S2S3)
Low
10
9
8
Level of concern
7
6
5
Range
4
High
3
2
1
0
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Ranking factors
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Astragalus osterhoutii (Osterhout's Milk-vetch) - G1 S1
This species is
“poorly conserved”
Astragalus osterhoutii (G1/S1)
Low
10
9
8
Range
Level of concern
7
6
5
4
High
3
2
1
0
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Ranking factors
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Overall Rare Plant Scores
(Conservation status evaluation)
Rare Plant Conservation Status – Lots
of “Poorly Conserved” Plants
The bad news:
40
Colorado’s Overall Rare Plant
Score is poor
35
Number of species
30
25
20
The good news:
There is plenty of opportunity
to switch this around!
15
10
5
0
Poorly conserved
Weakly conserved
Moderately conserved Effectively conserved
Conservation status
An example of spatially displayed scores
Rare plants of shale barrens habitat
Average Scores for Rare Plants occurring in
Barrens System (n=20)
10
Low
9
8
Level of concern
7
6
5
4
High
3
2
1
0
Abundance
Threat
Status
Quality
Landscape
Integrity
Ranking factors
Energy
Dev.
Potential
Land
Status
The primary concern for barrens plants are energy
development, exurban expansion, and motorized recreation,
all of which can have direct impacts on the species.
Rare plants of alpine habitat
Average Scores for Rare Plants occuring in
Alpine System (n=10)
10
Low
9
8
Level of concern
7
6
5
4
Alpine habitats are effectively conserved; the primary
threat to Colorado’s alpine plants is probably global
climate change.
High
3
2
1
0
Abundance
Threat
Status
Quality
Landscape
Integrity
Ranking factors
Energy
Dev.
Potential
Land
Status
Example of Animal Results
Gunnison Sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus)
High
Level of concern
Low
Gunnison Sage Grouse (G1S1)
Abundance
Quality
Short Term Long Term
Trend
Trend
Ranking factors
Threats
Protection
Photo © by Louis Swift
Excerpt from
Ecological System Scorecard
Ecological System Summary Scores
System Name
Biodiversity
Status
Threat
Status
Protection
Status
Historic
trend
Conservation
Status
Alpine Tundra
8.2
9.2
8.6
-1%
Effectively
conserved
CO Plateau PinyonJuniper
6.7
4.2
7.0
-14%
Moderately
conserved
Shortgrass
6.5
4.9
1.7
-48%
Poorly
conserved
Quality
Abundance
Biodiversity and Threat Summary Statistics
for Ecological Systems – See % Acres in
Each Status Category (Poor-Very Good)
Threat Status - patches
Biodiversity Status - patches
Threat Status
Biodiversity Status
Alpine Tundra
Alpine Tundra
CO Plateau PJ
CO Plateau PJ
Shortgrass
Shortgrass
Poor
Fair
Good
Very Good
Poor
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
percent of acres
70%
80%
90%
100%
Fair
Good
Very Good
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
percent of acres
70%
80%
90%
100%
Ecological System Summary
Scores
Overall Scores for Ecological Systems
Quality
Threats
+
Protection
+
Conclusion
A biodiversity scorecard can:
•
•
•
•
•
Summarize biodiversity/conservation status
• Allow attributes to be analyzed and summarized
• Graphically display results
Measure conservation success (State of the State)
Provide foundation for developing conservation strategies
Provide a database/storage place for conservation data
Be an excellent education/outreach tool: ideal for the web
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