Marine Conservation Planning

We are collaborating with scientists from the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to design and implement integrated conservation and management strategies for key coastal and marine areas in the Gulf of California (GOC).  One theme of this work is the development of criteria for determining which strategy is most appropriate and feasible for each site identified in the conservation and management area network.  We are using TNC’s databases for the Gulf of California Ecoregional Assessment by TNC as the basis for prioritization, which includes indices of irreplaceability, cost, and threat level.  Our final ranked scenario will represent a balance between irreplaceability with vulnerability to help derive conservation priorities and strategies for each site.  Because the establishment of isolated marine reserves may not alone suffice for the conservation of biodiversity, examining the level of connectivity between the areas is a critical aspect of our work.  Our results will then be reiterated into the prioritization schemes described above.  Future work will include analyses of feasibility, leverage and opportunity.  Ultimately, our results will be applied by TNC/WWF and other partners to derive the final conservation and managed areas network in the GOC.