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1B. Viability Assessment and Goals

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  1. Conservation Coaches Network Workshop Presentation 1B. Viability Assessment and Goals

  2. Adaptive Management Workshop Presentations 1A-1B. Team, Scope, Vision 1B. Conservation Targets 1B. Viability Assessment 2A-1. Strategy Selection 2A-2. Results Chains 2A-3. Goals and Objectives 1C. Threat Rating 1D. Conceptual Models 2B. Monitoring Plan

  3. Conceptualize Viability Assessment

  4. This Presentation Viability Assessment • What is viability assessment? • How to do viability assessment • Additional examples of viability assessment • Advice for doing viability assessment

  5. Viability AssessmentWhat is it? Viability Assessment Viability (ecological integrity) of a conservation target is the measure to which the target is……. resistant to change in its structure and composition in the face of external stresses and resilient – able to recover upon experiencing occasional severe stress

  6. Viability AssessmentWhat is it? Viability Assessment Viability assessment helps teams answer important questions: • What key characteristics define a healthy target? • How do we physically measure those characteristics? (indicators) • How is our target doing now? • What do we want to achieve? (ultimate, measurable goals) Bog frog Bog frog

  7. This Presentation Viability Assessment • What is viability assessment? • How to do viability assessment • Additional examples of viability assessment • Advice for doing viability assessment

  8. Our Example – Swan Coastal Plain Wetlands Viability Assessment Adapted from WWF Australia’s WeltlandsWatch Project

  9. Swan Coastal Plain Conservation Targets Viability Assessment • Seasonally flooded wetlands • Eucalyptus-Melaleuca woodlands • Fringing shrublands • Permanent lakes • Blue-billed ducks

  10. The Basics Viability Assessment • Define key characteristics (“key ecological attributes” or KEAs) of your target. • Identify indicator(s) for each KEA • Describe what would constitute “good” status • Define the current status and desired future status for your target • Complete the rating scale for each indicator, using the categories of Very Good,Good,Fair,orPoor.

  11. The Details Viability Assessment • Define “key ecological attributes” (KEAs) of your target. KEA: Aspects of a target’s biology or ecology that - If present, define a healthy target - If missing or altered, would lead to the loss or extreme degradation of that target over time. Examples: • Tropical hardwood forest target: size, connectivity among systems, presence of key species • Migratory fish target: population status, access to spawning habitat, quality of spawning habitat

  12. The Details Viability Assessment 1) Define “key ecological attributes” of your target. Consider the following categories: Size: • Geographic extent (ecosystem or habitat) • Abundance &/or demographics of the population/community (species) Condition: • Composition, structure, & biotic interactions Landscape Context: • Landscape-scale ecological processes, connectivity

  13. The Details Viability Assessment 1) Define “key ecological attributes” of your target.

  14. The Details Viability Assessment • Identify an indicator(s) for your KEA

  15. Indicators Viability Assessment Indicators are measurable aspects of the Key Ecological Attribute that inform us of its status or “health” Key Attribute: Circulatory system Indicator: Blood pressure Indicators are what you measure

  16. The Details Viability Assessment • Describe what would constitute “good” status of the indicator.

  17. The Details Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Threshold line

  18. The Details Viability Assessment What is an “acceptable range of variation?”

  19. The Details Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance Threshold line

  20. The Details Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance Threshold line

  21. The Details Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance Threshold line

  22. The Details Viability Assessment 4) Define the current state and desired future state for your target

  23. The Details Viability Assessment 5) Complete the rating scale for each indicator, using the categories of Very Good,Good,Fair,orPoor. This is usually done after the workshop. Threshold line

  24. The Details Viability Assessment 5) Complete the rating scale for each indicator, using the categories of Very Good,Good,Fair,or Poor. This is usually done after the workshop. Threshold line

  25. Viability in Miradi Viability Assessment

  26. Preview of Goals Viability Assessment Goal: By ~2025, there are at least 1,500 adult blue-billed ducks of reproductive age in the Swan Coastal Plain From the Viability Assessment…

  27. Another Example Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance

  28. Another Example Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance

  29. Another Example Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance

  30. Another Example Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance

  31. Another Example Viability Assessment Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance

  32. Another Example Viability Assessment By ~2030, the seasonally flooded wetlands of the Swan Coastal Plain are composed of at least 95% native species. Fair: Outside acceptable range of variation; Requires human intervention Poor: Restoration increasingly difficult; May result in extirpation Good: Indicator w/in acceptable range of variation; Some intervention required for maintenance Very Good: Ecologically desirable status; Requires little intervention for maintenance

  33. This Presentation Viability Assessment • What is viability assessment? • How to do viability assessment • Additional examples of viability assessment • Advice for doing viability assessment

  34. KEA for Mangrove Forest Viability Assessment

  35. Indicator for Mangrove Forest Viability Assessment

  36. Viability Ratings for Mangrove Forest Viability Assessment

  37. Viability Ratings for Mangrove Forest Viability Assessment

  38. Viability Ratings for Coral Reef Viability Assessment

  39. Viability Ratings for Coral Reef Viability Assessment Note that in this case the indicator is a threat to the target. That is OK, but always state the KEA is positive terms – as an attribute of the target.

  40. Viability Ratings for Coral Reef Viability Assessment

  41. Viability Ratings for Coral Reef Viability Assessment

  42. Viability Ratings for Coral Reef Viability Assessment

  43. From Viability Assessment in Indonesian Village Viability Assessment Population size Fish catch per day X Size • Catches from the Sea identified as a focal target for fish caught for local consumption and sale • Key attribute & indicator selected • Fisherman observe that catch is much less than they remember in recent times • Current status considered not viable (Fair)

  44. From Viability Assessment in Indonesian Village Viability Assessment 11-30 strings of fish 31-100 strings of fish > 100 strings of fish <10 strings of fish Population size Fish catch per day (# of strings of fish over min size) Size • Interviews indicate current harvest < 30 strings of fish over minimum catch size • Ten years ago, harvest yielded up to 200 strings of fish over minimum catch size • > 100 considered Very Good • 31-100 considered Good

  45. This Presentation Viability Assessment • What is viability assessment? • How to do viability assessment • Additional examples of viability assessment • Advice for doing viability assessment

  46. Overall “Picture” of Project Viability SIZE CONDITION SIZE CONDITION LANDSCAPE CONTEXT LANDSCAPE CONTEXT Biodiversity Health or Landscape Functionality Viability Assessment Target A Viability Target B Viability Target C Viability Target D Viability

  47. “Representative & Encompass” Indicators → Key Attributes →Conservation Targets → Biodiversity at Site Key Words for This Process Viability Assessment

  48. Tips for Selecting KEAs Viability Assessment • Pick factors that are critical for long-term viability – characteristics that, if degraded, would seriously jeopardize the target’s ability to persist for 100+ years • When in doubt, pick characteristics that are likely to be affected by human activities • Look for a few really key ecological attributes… versus many desirable or descriptive characteristics Key ecological attributes are what’s important…

  49. Tips for Selecting Indicators Viability Assessment Look for indicators that: • Strongly relate to the status of the key ecological attribute • Are efficient & affordable to measure • Can reasonably define what constitutes “Good” Desirable indicators ... • Might provide an early warning to serious stresses • Might assess two or more key ecological attributes e.g. Presence of young cypress in a floodplain forest as an indicator for both hydrological regime & reproduction of dominant species

  50. Be Prepared to Accept Uncertainty!! Viability Assessment • The main purpose of viability assessment is capturing the current state of knowledge • Don’t worry about information gaps • Don’t focus on filling out all indicator ratings! • Viability assessment is an iterative process with successive approximations. You can return during later planning stages to add more detail (if necessary)