Pacific Rim Salmon Conservation Design
Protecting core centers of productivity and diversity of wild Pacific salmon may be the most effective means of reducing salmon diversity loss, and ensuring that Pacific salmon will continue to provide a variety of ecosystem services. The Wild Salmon Center (WSC) has identified a qualitative conservation goal of a network of protected areas for wild Pacific salmon distributed across their native North Pacific range. It is essential to design a geographic and quantitative framework for this vision. Concepts and tools from the field of Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP, Margules and Pressey, 2000; Margules and Sarkar, 2007) provides a foundation for planning a network of salmon strongholds. Previous work at the North Pacific scale (Augerot, 2005; Pinsky et al., 2009) provides context, data, and a gap analysis.
Using Marxan, a complimentarity-based spatial conservation planning tool, basins across the North Pacific are assessed for their irreplaceability to meet a range of abundance goals within geographic scales (ecoregional and North Pacific) and species (single and multiple) contexts. Using decision rules, network scenarios are selected that reflect a combination of the most irreplaceable basins within each scale and context. Abundance, diversity, and efficiency outcomes vary widely based upon the spatial scale and species context. The results indicate that a significant amount of salmon abundance (~ 50%) and ecological diversity (40-60%) can be protected in a relatively small set of basins that are in relatively good condition. This paper provides a road map for developing, visualizing, and assessing quantitative conservation goals for strongholds across the Pacific Rim. The process developed in this paper provides a context for developing a series of finer-scale regional prioritizations that will further refine the stronghold design and engage regional partners and stakeholders.
- Article in Conservation Biology (Pinsky et al, 2009).
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- Google Earth Visualization of PSCA.