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Webinar: Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Brown Pelican: Estimating Habitat Objectives and Management Scenario Efficiencies
Tuesday, 20 April 2021, 11:00
Tuesday, April 20, 2021. 11:00 AM. Webinar: Strategic Habitat Conservation for the Brown Pelican: Estimating Habitat Objectives and Management Scenario Efficiencies. James Patrick Cronin, USGS Wetland & Aquatic Research Center. Sponsored by Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center. More information here.
Gulf restoration programs increasingly fund coastal habitat managers to implement a variety of restoration actions to meet species’ needs and recover from injuries. There is uncertainty about the ability of these management actions to achieve population objectives because species are often stressed by factors that interact and differentially influence their abundances and distributions across large scales. This makes it difficult for managers to establish habitat objectives and translate them into the actions necessary to meet population objectives. To address this problem, we developed fifteen USFWS Biological Planning Units (BPU) for the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Ten of these BPUs have established population objectives (breeding pairs) for Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), which form breeding colonies on coastal and barrier islands. We developed a Bayesian network model and a geospatial habitat characteristic dataset to predict the number of Brown Pelican nests on each of 31,577 islands within target BPUs. We used the model’s results and population objectives to estimate nest demand per target BPU. Finally, we estimated how much habitat is needed in each BPU to achieve its population objective (i.e., habitat objective) and the amount of effort needed to achieve the habitat objective (i.e., management efficiency). We will discuss how managers can use these products as decision-aiding tools for identifying which islands could be targeted and what actions could be taken to achieve Brown Pelican population objectives.