Search Results for:

Elizabeth Hiroyasu

Landscape Scientist, Terrestrial

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Elizabeth provides science leadership to different projects in the Cities Strategy. She is helping to develop a greenprint for the Southern California Association of Governments, a conservation tool that will cover much of Southern California. She also aids on…

Vienna Saccomanno

Ocean Science Associate, Marine

Vienna provides scientific leadership to the Oceans Program of The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter using her technical background in data science, spatial analysis, and marine ecology. She is leading a quantitative effort to estimate spatial and temporal changes in kelp coverage along the north coast…

John Gearen

Project Director, Economics

John joined The Nature Conservancy in 2016 to accelerate the use of capital markets for conservation in California. 

Prior to TNC, John built energy analytics businesses within Hewlett Packard to address electric utilities’ smart metering challenges in Europe and Asia.  Earlier experience includes VC investing…

Kelly Easterday

Lead Conservation Technology Manager, Technology

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Kelly is the Lead Conservation Technology Manager at the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve where she oversees GIS and technology projects related to the operation, management, and research at the Preserve.

Kelly holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy,…

Nick Holmes

Lead Scientist, Island Conservation, Terrestrial

As a Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, Nick works in thematic areas of island conservation, invasive species, seabird restoration and threatened species. His responsibilities include advancing cutting-edge science to inform investment and actions at California, Pacific-wide and global scales, and participating on multi-disciplinary teams to…

Nathaniel Rindlaub

Software Developer, Technology

Nathaniel is a software developer for the Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, specializing in data visualization and map-based applications. Through thoughtful design and development, Nathaniel makes complex datasets more accessible, explorable, and actionable to both internal staff and external stakeholders. He believes that technology, design, and…

Lyall Bellquist

Fisheries Scientist, Marine

Lyall works as a marine fisheries scientist working to improve management and conservation of marine resources in California. His research combines collaboration, innovation, and quantitative methods to ensure long-term health and sustainability of marine ecosystems, fisheries, and fishing communities. Lyall works collaboratively with multiple stakeholder groups to identify…

Tanushree Biswas

Spatial Data Scientist, Technology

Tanu is a Spatial Data Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s California Program. In this role, she collaborates with scientists from different programs to explore and expand the application of remote sensing technology and geospatial science for conservation. Collaborating with terrestrial and freshwater teams, she identified…

Sally Liu

Hydrologist , Freshwater

Sally currently focuses on groundwater issues, supporting the development of a statewide guidance framework for groundwater dependent ecosystems, serving as a hydrologist on the Fox Canyon Groundwater Sustainability Plans Technical Advisory Group, and furthering science research on groundwater dependent ecosystems. She manages the California Salmon…

John Randall

Lead Scientist , Terrestrial

John is a Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter. He supervises a team of four other scientists who focus on conservation of protected areas and corridors linking them into a statewide network. Much of his time is devoted to three projects: conservation and management of…

Walter Heady

Coastal Marine Ecologist, Marine

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Walter provides the science needed by the Coastal Program to meet conservation objectives at the land-sea interface. His work at the Conservancy synthesizes our understanding of the ecological function—and benefits to humans—of coastal systems in order to improve the…

Trish Smith

Ecologist, Terrestrial

In her role with the Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Trish works with government agencies, research institutions, land managers and non-governmental agencies to develop and implement coordinated regional programs for the management and monitoring of plant and animal communities in southern California. She has worked extensively…

Sophie Parker

Lead Scientist, Terrestrial

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Sophie leads the Energy Program’s science team in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. She also provides science guidance to the Chapter's engagement on urban stormwater, and leads the Biodiversity Analysis in Los Angeles (BAILA) Program, which is developing new…

Scott Morrison

Director, Conservation Programs & Science

As the Director of Conservation Programs & The Victor E. Shelford Director of Conservation Science, Scott leads an interdisciplinary team of conservation scientists and practitioners who design and implement cutting-edge conservation strategies across the lands and waters of California. He began his career with The Nature Conservancy…

Scott Butterfield

Senior Scientist, Terrestrial

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Scott is the Lead Scientist for the Strategic Restoration Strategy in the San Joaquin Valley, Science Lead for the Rangeland Management Team at the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve, TNC’s Lead for participation as a Managing Partner at the…

Sarah Heard

Director, Conservation Economics & Finance, Economics

Sarah leads The Nature Conservancy’s economics and finance work within the California Chapter. She supports the Land, Land Networks, Water and Oceans teams in developing innovative market-based approaches to the chapter’s conservation objectives. Sarah currently leads a team that creates new markets, utilizes economic incentives…

Rodd Kelsey

Lead Scientist, Terrestrial

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Rodd leads a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to guide efforts focused on conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services in working forests, rangelands, and cultivated landscapes.  Specifically, Rodd helps lead the Conservancy’s science related to accelerating the restoration of forests in…

Melissa Rohde

Groundwater Scientist, Freshwater

Melissa provides scientific leadership to the Groundwater Program of The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter using her expertise in biology, hydrology, and water policy to advance sustainable groundwater management. Her research focuses on understanding how Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems function and what conditions are necessary to maintain…

Megan Webb

Lead Mapping & Design Analyst, Technology

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Megan leads the design and development of high visibility maps, graphics, and other data visualizations for a variety of media, provides geospatial support to real estate planning, and manages core spatial data to track real estate investments.  She has…

Matt Merrifield

Chief Technology Officer, Technology

As Chief Technology Officer in The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Matt is responsible for research, strategy, and application of technology solutions to serve the Conservancy’s mission. He has 20 years of experience in the field of geospatial technology that encompasses geographic information science, remote sensing,…

Mary Gleason

Director of Science, Marine

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Mary leads the ocean science team with science engagements in fisheries, coastal conservation and adaptation, emerging ocean threats, and marine spatial planning. She has led marine and estuarine biodiversity assessments and has conducted collaborative research on fisheries impacts and…

Mark D. Reynolds

Lead Scientist, Freshwater

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Mark provides scientific leadership and guidance by developing analytical approaches to planning, conservation strategy development and monitoring. He is currently studying the relationships between water management, compatible agriculture and conservation of the Pacific Flyway.

Prior to joining the Conservancy,…

Kristen Wilson

Ecologist, Terrestrial

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Kristen focuses on watershed planning and monitoring of restoration projects in the Sierra Nevada and Cascades. To inform investments in land protection and restoration, she applies spatial models, solicits stakeholder input, assesses cost-effectiveness and quantifies the impact of these…

Kirk Klausmeyer

Director of Data Science, Technology

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Kirk has interpreted data and developed visual tools to address California’s most pressing environmental challenges like including mapping groundwater dependent ecosystems, quantifying the impact of drought on river flows, and cataloging observations of freshwater biodiversity statewide. Kirk has authored…

Katie Andrews

Systems Architect, Technology

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Katie applies geospatial technologies to address dynamic water management and other conservation issues. Additionally she manages the development of mobile and web-based tools to improve information access for decision makers. She has nearly 20 years of experience in geographic…

Julie Zimmerman

Lead Scientist, Freshwater

Julie’s focus in The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter is to develop collaborative, science-based approaches to water management and river restoration in California, based on principles of decision science. Julie has over 10 years of experience in the area of environmental flows, providing scientific leadership and…

Jono R. Wilson

Lead Scientist, Global Fisheries, Marine

Jono leads the fisheries science program in The Nature Conservancy’s California chapter. In that role, he designs market- and community-based solutions to the challenge of conserving and managing marine resources. He works with fishermen and managers in California to pilot novel assessment and management applications…

John Knapp

California Islands Ecologist, Terrestrial

John works on the California Islands for The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter. He has worked on the islands for over 15 years, and has 20 years of experience in land management that includes: threat and recovery prioritization and planning, habitat restoration, invasive species eradication and…

Jennifer Carah

Senior Scientist, Freshwater

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Jennifer is currently engaged in work to protect and restore stream flows and winter refuge habitat for salmon. Jennifer has managed numerous habitat restoration and monitoring projects on the North Coast of California Her experience includes conservation planning; restoration…

Jeanette Howard

Director of Science, Freshwater

Jeanette leads TNC’s freshwater science team in The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter. The team focuses on developing and fostering a science enterprise to sustain healthy aquatic ecosystems in California. This work includes conservation planning for freshwater biodiversity, defining environmental flows to maintain and restore freshwater…

Greg Golet

Applied Scientist, Freshwater

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Greg provides science guidance and leadership to direct engagements in the state’s Great Central Valley. Current areas of focus include advancing waterbird conservation through compatible agriculture, and restoring riparian and riverine ecosystems through floodplain restoration. His research focuses on…

Falk Schuetzenmeister

Software Engineer, Technology

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Falk serves as a full stack developer supporting the Science and Conservation teams by building data solutions and web-based monitoring applications. He works with very diverse data such as remote sensing products, imagery from fishery monitoring cameras, environmental sensors…

Edward Smith

Forest Ecologist, Terrestrial

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Program, Edward is leading efforts to increase the quality and scale of ecological restoration of forests in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He brings analytical skills, vegetation modeling, people skills, and pragmatic experience in prescribed burning and forest management to the…

Dick Cameron

Director of Science, Terrestrial

Dick leads the Land Programs science team in The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter. His work is focused on creating the tools and evidence to integrate conservation into land use and climate policies. Across a variety of California landscapes, his research assesses opportunities to align land conservation…

Christina Boser

California Islands Ecologist, Terrestrial

Christina works for The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter on the California islands where she coordinates endangered species recovery and invasive species removal efforts. She is focusing on the choices that are made when the interests of two island endemic species complete, and the decision making…

Carrie Schloss

Spatial Data Scientist, Technology

Carrie is a Spatial Data Scientist in The Nature Conservancy’s California Program. She focuses on multi-benefit conservation planning and climate change adaptation. She uses data analytics and creates decision support tools to encourage the integration of conservation values across sectors.  She explores how natural resource…

Brynn Pewtherer

Associate Director, Conservation Programs & Science

In her role as Associate Director of Conservation Programs and Science in the California Chapter, Brynn helps advance conservation and science strategies needed to address some of the biggest conservation challenges. She coordinates and helps align the work of conservation, science and geodesign staff advancing place-based…

Brian Cohen

Spatial Data Scientist, Technology

Brian is a Spatial Data Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s California Program. During his 12 years at the Conservancy, Brian has interpreted data and developed visual tools to help solve California’s most pressing environmental challenges including the impact of development of renewable in the Mojave/Sonoran…


Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Assessing California’s bar-built estuaries using the California Rapid Assessment Method

Walter Heady, Ross P. Clark, Kevin O’Connor, Cara Clark, Charles Endris, Sierra Ryan, Sara Stoner-Duncan

Connecting marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, bar-built estuaries are complex and dynamic coastal confluences that provide a great diversity of habitat and ecosystem services. The wetland habitats of bar-built estuaries are threatened by development, pollution, and climate related changes including diminished streamflows and sea…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Conservation Planning for Offsetting the Impacts of Development: A Case Study of Biodiversity and Renewable Energy in the Mojave Desert

Jason Kreitler, Carrie A. Schloss, Oliver Soong, Lee Hannah, Frank W. Davis

In the past, mitigation to address impacts from development have lacked a regional planning perspective resulting in efficient design across a set of sites for a suite of impacts. This paper introduces a tool that uses spatial prioritization to identify optimized mitigation opportunities for solar…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

The benefits of crops and field management practices to wintering waterbirds in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of California

W. David Shuford , Matthew E. Reiter, Khara M. Strum, Michelle M. Gilbert , Catherine M. Hickey, Greg Golet

Although agricultural intensification is one of the largest contributors to the loss of global biodiversity, agricultural landscapes can provide valuable habitat for birds. Recognizing this, wildlife professionals are working to promote “wildlife-friendly” farming. In this paper, authors assessed the value to wintering waterbirds of different…


Freshwater | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

California’s Freshwater Conservation Blueprint map

Megan Webb, Kirk Klausmeyer, Jeanette Howard

The transformation of California into one of the most productive agricultural and urban landscapes in the world and a growing population have put unprecedented pressure on freshwater habitats, reducing them to a small fraction of their historic extent. Across the state, freshwater-dependent ecosystems have been…


Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

California Freshwater Blueprint: Phase I Overview

Jeanette K. Howard, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Kurt A. Fesenmyer

California is one of the most productive agricultural and urban landscapes in the world with a growing population. These pressures have reduced aquatic and wetland habitats to a small fraction of their historic extent. Ecosystems dependent on freshwater have been degraded across the state, with…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Technology | Publications & Reports

Abundance models improve spatial and temporal prioritization of conservation resources

Johnston, A., D. Fink, M. D. Reynolds, W. M. Hochachka, B. L. Sullivan, N. E. Bruns, E. Hallstein, M. S. Merrifield, S. Matsumoto, S. Kelling

Global declines in migratory species in response to accelerating habitat destruction and climate change challenge the scope and scale of conservation efforts. The ability to pinpoint where and when conservation interventions will have the greatest positive population impact is especially important for conservation of migratory…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Testing the effects of ant invasions on non-ant arthropods with high-resolution taxonomic data

Cause Hanna, Ida Naughton, Christina Boser, David Holway

Ecological invasions can shift species composition and even alter ecosystem function. Ant invasions generate a broad spectrum of ecological effects but there is controversy about the extent of these impacts, especially if and how other arthropods are affected. This uncertainly stems from the use of…


Marine | Science | Video

Science for Nature and People Partnership: Data-Limited Fisheries Working Group

The Nature Conservancy, Jono Wilson

There are thousands of fisheries around the globe that lack the infrastructure, capacity, resources and management techniques to perform conventional assessments and management. We know that fisheries that get measured—that have stock assessments performed—are typically better managed, including increased regulation and enforcement. Conversely, when fisheries…


Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

Comanaging fresh produce for nature conservation and food safety

Daniel S. Karp, Sasha Gennet , Christopher Kilonzo, Melissa Partyka, Nicolas Chaumont, Edward R. Atwill, Claire Kremen

In 2006, a high profile outbreak of E. coli in spinach was traced to California’s Central Coast. After that outbreak, produce growers were pressured to minimize potential presence of wild animals by removing surrounding natural vegetation that provides habitat, among other practices. This study shows…


Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

Carbon Implications of Fuel Reduction and Ecological Restoration Treatments in Sierra Nevada Forests

Derek Young

A century of fire suppression has dramatically altered the structure and composition of western U.S. forests. When dense, fire-suppressed forests experience wildfire, they often burn severely. To reduce the risk of these wildfires and reduce carbon release to the atmosphere, both critical for climate change…


Marine | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Coastal Resilience Monterey webmap

Brian Cohen

The Coastal Resilience Network supports a community of practitioners who are applying nature-based solutions to coastal hazard and climate adaptation issues. As a member of this Network, the Conservancy is working with scientists, geomorphologists, urban and environmental economists, regional conservation partners, and local stakeholders…


Marine | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Coastal Resilience Ventura Web Map

Brian Cohen

As a member of the Coastal Resilience Network, the Conservancy is leading Coastal Resilience Ventura. Coast Resilience Ventura is a partnership that provides science and decision-support tools to help conservation practitioners, planners and policymakers address the impact of climate change. Through this effort, the…


Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Aligning Natural Resource Conservation and Flood Hazard Mitigation in California

Juliano Calil, Michael W. Beck, Mary Gleason, Matthew Merrifield, Kirk Klausmeyer, Sarah Newkirk

The U.S. National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $38 billion in claims since its inception in 1968, more than a third of which has gone to the 1% of policies that experienced multiple, repetitive losses. During the same period, the loss of…


Freshwater | Planning | Data

California Freshwater Species Database v2

Jeanette Howard, Kirk Klausmeyer, Kurt Fesenmyer

The California Freshwater Species Database is the first comprehensive geospatial database of California’s freshwater species compiled and standardized into single format from nearly 500 sources. It provides a single source for geodata covering the plants and animals that rely on California’s freshwater resources to survive.…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Survival and mortality of pumas (Puma concolor) in a fragmented, urbanizing landscape

Vickers, T.W., J. N. Sanchez, C. Johnson, S.A. Morrison, R. Botta, T. Smith, B.S. Cohen, P. Huber, W.M. Boyce

Conservation of wide-ranging species like mountain lions is especially difficult in highly fragmented landscapes, such as coastal southern California. Research into their populations can provide important insights into what is needed to protect them, such as where to prioritize habitat conservation or restoration. This paper…


Freshwater | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Patterns of Freshwater Species Richness, Endemism, and Vulnerability in California

Jeanette K. Howard, Kirk R. Klausmeyer, Kurt A. Fesenmyer, Joseph Furnish, Thomas Gardali, Ted Grantham, Jacob V. E. Katz, Sarah Kupferberg, Patrick McIntyre, Peter B. Moyle, Peter R. Ode, Ryan Peek, Rebecca M. Quiñones, Andrew C. Rehn, Nick Santos, Steve Schoenig, Larry Serpa, Jackson D. Shedd, Joe Slusark, Joshua H. Viers, Amber Wright, Scott A. Morrison

The California Freshwater Species Database is the first comprehensive geospatial database of California’s freshwater species compiled and standardized into single format from nearly 500 sources. It provides a single source for geodata covering the plants and animals that rely on California’s freshwater resources to…


Freshwater | Marine | Publications & Reports

Climate mediates hypoxic stress on fish diversity and nursery function at the land–sea interface

Brent B. Hughes, Matthew D. Levey, Monique C. Fountain, Aaron B. Carlisle, Francisco P. Chavez, Mary G. Gleason

This comprehensive study of a major California estuary documents the links between nutrient runoff from coastal land use, the health of the estuary as a nursery for young fish, and the abundance of fish in an offshore commercial fishery. The researchers assembled long-term data sets…


Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

High Time for Conservation: Adding the Environment to the Debate on Marijuana Liberalization

Jennifer K. Carah, Jeanette K. Howard, Sally E. Thompson, Anne G. Short Gianotti, Scott D. Bauer, Stephanie M. Carlson, David N. Dralle, Mourad W. Gabriel, Lisa L. Hulette, Brian J. Johnson, Curtis A. Knight, Sarah J. Kupferberg, Stefanie L. Martin, Rosamond L. Naylor, Mary E. Power

Marijuana cultivation can have significant negative collateral effects on the environment that are often unknown or overlooked. This study focuses on California, where by some estimates, 60–70% of the marijuana consumed in the United States is grown. The study adds the environment to the debate…




Terrestrial | Planning | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Integrating Land Conservation and Renewable Energy Goals in California: A Study of Costs and Impacts Using the Optimal Renewable Energy Build-Out (ORB) Model

The Nature Conservancy: Erica Brand, Laura Crane, Dick Cameron, Energy and Environmental Economics: Grace C. Wu, Nick Schlag

Integrating ecological data into long-term energy planning is critical to meet both California’s long term energy and conservation goals. This report assesses the potential trade-offs associated with renewable energy build-out by evaluating the land and water use implications and cost of a range of potential…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Case studies of conservation plans that incorporate geodiversity

M.G. Anderson, P.J. Comer, P. Beier, J.J. Lawler, C.A. Schloss, S. Buttrick, C. M. Albano, D. P. Faith

Incorporating geodiversity into conservation plans to ensure conservation actions are more resilient to climate change is appealing because it addresses the threat of climate change while avoiding the uncertainties associated with climate model projections. However, there are no standards for how to do so. This…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Incorporating geodiversity into conservation decisions

Patrick J. Comer, Robert L. Pressey, Malcolm L. Hunter Jr., Carrie A. Schloss, Steven C. Buttrick, Nicole E. Heller, John M. Tirpak, Daniel P. Faith, Molly S. Cross, Mark L. Shaffer

The protection of biodiversity in a changing climate is a key challenge for conservation planners. Conserving a diversity of geophysical settings makes species and systems more resilient to climate change by providing a diversity of niche options that enable species to adapt to changing conditions.…



Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Land-use impacts on water resources and protected areas: applications of state-and-transition simulation modeling of future scenarios

Tamara S. Wilson, Jason Sherba, Dick Cameron, Benjamin M Sleeter

Human land use will increasingly contribute to habitat loss and water shortages in California, given future population projections and associated land-use demand. Understanding how land-use change may impact future water use and where existing protected areas may be threatened by land-use conversion will be important…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Monitoring the Impact of Grazing on Rangeland Conservation Easements Using MODIS Vegetation Indices

Miriam Tsalyuk, Maggi Kelly, Kevin Koy, Wayne M. Getz, H. Scott Butterfield

Monitoring the effects of grazing on rangelands is crucial for ensuring sustainable rangeland ecosystem function and maintaining conservation values. Residual dry matter (RDM), the dry grass biomass left on the ground at the end of the grazing season, is a commonly used proxy for rangeland condition…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Islands within an island: Repeated adaptive divergence in a single population

Langin, K.M., T.S. Sillett , W.C. Funk, S.A. Morrison, M.A. Desrosiers, C.K. Ghalambor

Islands are renowned laboratories for discovery into natural selection. This study looked at “islands” of habitat within a single island and remarkably found that the Island Scrub-Jay – notably, a highly vagile species – had different shaped bills depending on whether it occurred in pine…


Freshwater | Data

Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in California data

Jeanette Howard, Matt Merrifield

The California Freshwater Species Database is the first comprehensive geospatial database of California’s freshwater species compiled and standardized into single format from nearly 500 sources. It provides a single source for geodata covering the plants and animals that rely on California’s freshwater resources to survive.


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Mitochondrial genomes suggest rapid evolution of dwarf California Channel Islands foxes (Urocyon littoralis)

Hofman, C.A., T. C. Rick, M. T. R. Hawkins, W. C. Funk, K. Ralls, C. L. Boser, P. W. Collins, T. J. Coonan, J. L. King, S.A. Morrison, S. D. Newsome, T. S. Sillett, R. C. Fleischer, J. E. Maldonado

Genomics techniques provide powerful means of understanding evolutionary history. This paper examines the evolution of the island fox, which occurs on six of the California Channel Islands. Insights from the research include the role humans played in the evolution of the species, and the remarkably…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Recommendations for improving recovery criteria under the US Endangered Species Act

Doak, D.F., G.K. Himes Boor, V.J. Bakker, W.F. Morris, A. Louthan, S.A. Morrison, A. Stanley, L. Crowder

One of the key components of a recovery plan for a threatened or endangered species in the United States is the set of recovery criteria that will be used to evaluate progress in abating the threats to the species and reducing its risk of extinction.…


Terrestrial | Maps & Webmaps

Conservation Legacy in Marin County, California

Katie Andrews, Megan Webb, Robin Cox

This interactive webmap takes a multimedia approach to showcase the Conservancy’s conservation legacy in Marin County, California. Eleven achievements are profiled with photographs and summaries that provide a “then and now” perspective. 


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces bee visitation and plant seed set

Cause Hanna, Ida Naughton, Christina Boser, Ruben Alarcón, Keng-Lou, James Hung, David Holway

Floral visitation by ants can compromise plant reproduction in situations where ants interfere with more effective pollinators. This paper documents how Argentine ants on Santa Cruz Island in California interfere with pollination services provided by native invertebrates, leading to negative impacts for native plants. The…



Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

A framework for conservation in a human-dominated world

Scott Morrison

Recognition of the magnitude of human impacts on the planet and the urgent need to increase the pace and scale of conservation has led many conservation organizations to emphasize conservation for both “people and nature.” This article proposes a framework that clarifies what that relationship…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Modeling residential development in California from 2000 to 2050: Integrating wildfire risk, wildland and agricultural encroachment

M.L. Mann, P. Berck, M.A. Moritz, E. Batllori, J.G. Baldwin, C.K. Gately, D.R. Cameron

Between 1940 and 2000, nearly 10 million housing units were constructed in California. This new development led to increased interaction between human and natural communities. Tha authors of this paper modeled the extent and intensity of future housing settlements between 2000 and 2050 using three…


Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

Incorporating critical elements of city distinctiveness into urban biodiversity conservation

Sophie Parker

Strategies for preserving the Earth’s biodiversity that can be employed within cities are likely to become more common as urban areas continue to increase in size and number. Progress towards the development of effective conservation methods for urban areas is impeded by several factors, including…


Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

An Inventory and Classification of U.S. West Coast Estuaries

Walter N. Heady, Kevin O'Connor, Jennifer Kassakian , Kate Doiron, Charles Endris, Daniel Hudgens, Ross P. Clark , Jena Carter , Mary G. Gleason

Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. This inventory classifies more than 600 coastal confluences on the West Coast of the United States. Each estuary was classified using the federal Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). A spatial database of…


Freshwater | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Nursery Functions of U.S. West Coast Estuaries: The State of Knowledge for Juveniles of Focal Invertebrate and Fish Species

Brent B. Hughes, Matthew D. Levey, Jennifer A. Brown, Monique C. Fountain, Aaron B. Carlisle, Steven Y. Litvin, Correigh M. Greene, Walter N. Heady, Mary G. Gleason

Estuaries support significant biodiversity and important ecosystem functions such as providing rearing habitat for juvenile fish and invertebrates. This report synthesizes the scientific literature and geospatial data on the nursery requirements of fifteen species of commercial, cultural, and conservation concern and highlights the potential nursery role…



Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Fractured genetic connectivity threatens a southern California puma (Puma concolor) population

H.B. Ernest, T.W. Vickers, S.A. Morrison, M.R. Buchalski, W.M. Boyce

Highly fragmented landscapes can pose myriad threats to wide-ranging species like mountain lions. Coastal southern California has long been the focus of research into demographics, genetics, and movement patterns of lions, in large part to inform conservation planning. This paper presents genetic data, which combine…


Terrestrial | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

A multi-scale distribution model for non-equilibrium populations suggests resource limitation in an endangered rodent

Tim Bean, Bob Stafford, Scott Butterfield, Justin Brashares

This paper presents a multi-step approach to estimate the realized and potential distribution of the endangered giant kangaroo rat. The authors estimate the potential distribution by modeling suitability using static bioclimatic variables, then examine annual changes in extent at a population-level. The best model indicated the…


Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Low-Cost Restoration Techniques for Rapidly Increasing Wood Cover in Coastal Coho Salmon Streams

Jennifer K. Carah, Christopher C. Blencowe, David W. Wright

Coho salmon in California are critically imperiled so there is strong impetus to achieve as much habitat restoration as possible in priority watersheds quickly and with limited resources. This paper discusses a proven low-cost restoration technique for salmon streams. Adding fallen trees and pieces…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Passive recovery of vegetation after herbivore eradication on Santa Cruz Island, California

Beltran, R.S., N. Kreidler, D.H. Van Vuren, S.A. Morrison, E.S. Zavaleta, K. Newton, B.R. Tershy, D.A. Croll

Introduced predators and herbivores can have dramatic ecological effects on island ecosystems; their eradication can produce similarly profound ecological responses. This paper analyzes data from photo-monitoring stations and vegetation maps to characterize the passive recovery of vegetation that occurred over decades on Santa Cruz Island,…



Terrestrial | Maps & Webmaps

California Rangeland Conversion webmap

Dick Cameron

This webmap shows regions of California converted from rangeland land use to development, intensive agriculture, or other miscellaneous land uses between 1984 and 2008. See related publication and blog


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Whither the Rangeland?: Protection and Conversion of California’s Rangeland Ecosystems

Cameron DR, Marty J, Holland RF

This study assesses the amount of rangeland conversion between 1984 and 2008 in California. The researchers analyzed data from the California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program to see where conversion has occurred and what land uses have replaced rangelands. The degree to which rangelands were protected…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Ecological change on California's Channel Islands from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

Rick, T.C, T.S. Sillett, C.K. Ghalambor, C.A. Hofman, K. Ralls, R.S. Anderson, C.L. Boser, T.J. Braje, D.R. Cayan, R.T. Chesser, P.W. Collins, J.M. Erlandson, K.R. Faulkner, R. Fleischer, W.C. Funk, R. Galipeau, A. Huston, J. King, L. Laughrin, J. Maldonado, K. McEachern, D.R. Muhs, S.D. Newsome, L. Reeder-Myers, C. Still, S.A. Morrison

Understanding the deep history of places and resources, and the interplay between natural and cultural histories, can be critical to science-based conservation management. This paper explores the case study in applied historical ecology provided by the California Channel Islands, highlighting insights gained from transdisciplinary research…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Demography linked to climate change projections in an ecoregional case study

B. C. Mclaughlin, C. N. Morozumi, J. MacKenzie, A. Cole, S. Gennet

Anticipating how species will move as the climate changes is a fundamental concern in 21st century conservation. This study modeled potential responses of blue oak (Quercus douglasii), an endemic, flagship species in California, to future climate and then validated the results in the field. This suggests…



Freshwater | Maps & Webmaps

Hope Runs Deep: Conservation Solutions for Salmon in Shasta Valley

Jeanette Howard, Megan Webb, Katie Andrews

Using maps, images, and video, this interactive StoryMap illustrates how The Nature Conservancy works with partners in Shasta Valley, California to find conservation solutions that work for salmon and people. 


Terrestrial | Technology | Publications & Reports

Remote Sensing and Residual Dry Matter Monitoring

H. Scott Butterfield, Miriam Tsalyuk, Carrie Schloss

The Nature Conservancy in California monitors residual dry matter (RDM) on approximately 300,000 acres of conservation lands. Researchers evaluated whether satellite remote sensing data could be used to monitor RDM, thereby decreasing costs and increasing the overall effectiveness and long-term sustainability of the monitoring…


Terrestrial | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

Species distribution models of an endangered rodent offer conflicting measures of habitat quality at multiple scales

Tim Bean, Laura Prugh, Bob Stafford, Scott Butterfield, Mike Westphal, Justin Brashares

In this study, the authors developed a suite of species distribution models (SDMs) for the endangered giant kangaroo rat using the machine-learning method Maxent. They compared these models with three measures of habitat quality: survival, abundance and body condition. Species distribution models were not correlated…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Partitioning the sources of demographic variation reveals density‐dependent nest predation in an island bird populationv

H.R. Sofaer, T.S. Sillett, K.M. Langin, S.A. Morrison, C.K. Ghalambor

The density of birds in their breeding areas can affect reproductive success in myriad ways – and it is often difficult to distinguish which factors are more influential. For example, areas that have a high density of breeders may have lower per capita reproductive output,…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Maps & Webmaps

Actions Likely to Increase Plant and Animal Resilience to Climate Change

Kirk Klausmeyer

This webmap provides regional climate projections with information about topography, coastal proximity and level of habitat fragmentation to help land managers identify concrete conservation actions they can take now to help address the threat of climate change to the terrestrial species of California.


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

A bird in our hand: weighing uncertainty about the past against uncertainty about the future in Channel Islands National Park

S.A. Morrison

When should managers intervene if threats from climate change are likely but there is uncertainty about when those threats would actually jeopardize a conservation value? This paper presents a case study that brings that question into sharp focus. Should Island Scrub-Jays be re-introduced to Santa…


Freshwater | Publications & Reports

Restoring conservation nodes on the Santa Clara River

Parker, Sophie, Remson, E.J, Verdone, Lily

This paper reviews how the Conservancy has maximized its return on investment on the Santa Clara River in Ventura County, California by focusing riparian restoration efforts in a few methodically-chosen conservation nodes that include properties with high conservation value or high restoration potential. The Conservancy is…



| Technology | Publications & Reports

eBird enterprise: integrated approach to development and application of citizen science

Brian L. Sullivan, Jocelyn L. Aycrigg, Jessie H. Barry , Rick E. Bonney, Nicholas Bruns, Caren B. Cooper, Theo Damoulas, André A. Dhondt , Tom Dietterich, Andrew Farnsworth, Daniel Fink, John W. Fitzpatrick, Thomas Fredericks, Jeff Gerbracht, Carla Gomes, Wesley M. Hochachka, Marshall J. Iliff, Carl Lagoze, Frank A. La Sorte, Matthew Merrifield, Will Morris, Tina B. Phillips, Mark Reynolds, Amanda D. Rodewald, Kenneth V. Rosenberg, Nancy M. Trautmann, Andrea Wiggins, David W. Winkler, Weng-Keen Wong, Christopher L. Wood, Jun Yu, Steve Kelling

This paper outlines how eBird has evolved from a basic citizen-science project into a collective enterprise, taking a novel approach to citizen science by developing cooperative partnerships among experts in a wide range of fields: population and distributions, conservation biologists, quantitative ecologists, statisticians, computer scientists, GIS…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Reintroduction of historically extirpated taxa on the California Channel Islands

S.A. Morrison, K.A. Parker, P.W. Collins, W.C. Funk, T.S. Sillett

Pest eradication as a means to restore island ecosystems may come too late for populations that have already been driven extinct. Over decades, the California islands have been the focus of numerous eradication projects. With most vertebrate invasive species now removed, there is the opportunity…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Argentine ant management in conservation areas: results of a pilot study

CL Boser, C Hanna, KR Faulkner, C Cory, JM Randall, SA Morrison

Argentine ants are a highly aggressive and impactful non-native species introduced to California and around the world, impacting ecologically sensitive areas, commercial industries and residential homes. This paper describes a new method of eliminating Argentine ant nests from a conservations area using low concentration toxicant…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

On the fast track to recovery: island foxes on the northern Channel Islands

TJ Coonan, V Bakker, B Hudgens, CL Boser, DK Garcelon, SA Morrison

The island fox is a rare carnivore existing on only six California Channel Islands. In the late 1990’s, due to new and excessive golden eagle predation, it was threatened with extinction on the three northern islands. After extensive and carefully-managed conservation efforts spearheaded by the Conservancy…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Identifying evolutionarily significant units and prioritizing populations for management on islands

Jeanne M. Robertson, Kathryn M. Langin, T. Scott Sillett, Scott A. Morrison, Cameron K. Ghalambor, W. Chris Funk

Conservation of biodiversity can be complicated when there are many priority taxa and tradeoffs in management need to be made. This can be especially challenging on islands, where populations with relatively low dispersal ability often develop some degree of genetic distinctiveness. Natural communities on islands…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Stand structure and acorn production of the island scrub oak (Quercus pacifica)

Mario B. Pesendorfer, Kathryn M. Langin, Brian Cohen, Zachary Principe, Scott A. Morrison, T. Scott Sillett

Acorns are an important food resource for many species that occupy oak habitats. Patterns of acorn abundance across time and space, however, are often difficult to characterize. This paper describes observed patterns associated with a dominant and keystone species of oak on Santa Cruz Island,…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Strategies for biosecurity on a nearshore island in California

CL Boser, C Cory, KR Faulkner, JM Randall, JJ Knapp, SA Morrison

Biosecurity is the prevention of damaging non-native species’ arrival and establishment to new areas, for the protection of native plants and animals. This paper discusses the first iterations of a biosecurity program on Santa Cruz Island, California, wherein wildlife cameras were used to search for…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Biodiversity in a changing climate: a synthesis of current and projected trends in the US

Michelle D Staudinger, Shawn L Carter, Molly S Cross, Natalie S Dubois, J Emmett Duffy, Carolyn Enquist, Roger Griffis, Jessica J Hellmann, Joshua J Lawler, John O'Leary, Scott A Morrison, Lesley Sneddon, Bruce A Stein, Laura M Thompson, Woody Turner

This paper synthesizes research pertaining to climate change impacts on biodiversity, reviewed by the biodiversity technical working group of the 2014 National Climate Assessment. The paper focuses on research published since the 2009 NCA. 


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Successes, Failures and Suggested Future Directions for Ecosystem Restoration of the Middle Sacramento River, CA

Golet G.H., D.L. Brown, M. Carlson, T. Gardali, A. Henderson, K.D. Holl, C.A. Howell, M. Holyoak, J. Hunt, G.M. Kondolf, E.W. Larsen, R.A. Luster, C. McClain, C. Nelson, S. Paine, W. Rainey, Z. Rubin, F. Shilling, J.G. Silveira, H. Swagerty, N.M. Williams, D.M. Wood

Large-scale ecosystem restoration projects seldom undergo comprehensive evaluation to determine project effectiveness. Consequently, there are missed opportunities for learning and strategy refinement. In their synthesis of 36 ecological indicators of Sacramento River riparian restoration, the authors found steady progress in the restoration of riparian habitats and…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Male's return rate, rather than territory fidelity and breeding dispersal, explains geographic variation in song sharing in two populations of an oscine passerine (Oreothlypis celata)

J Yoon, TS Sillett, SA Morrison, CK Ghalambor

When members of a single species display very different behavioral patterns it can present a helpful model for ecological study. This paper examines two breeding populations of a songbird species: one population is mostly sedentary year-round and breeds on the Channel Islands of California; the…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

50-Year Climate Scenarios and Plant Species Distribution Forecasts for Setting Conservation Priorities in Southwestern California

Principe, Z., J.B. MacKenzie, B. Cohen, J.M. Randall, W. Tippets, T. Smith, S.A. Morrison

Coastal southern California has long been the focus of regional conservation planning efforts. Decades ago – and prior to today’s heightened awareness of the magnitude of the likely impacts climate change – reserve designs were established with the intent of protecting the region’s very diverse…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Vinecology: Pairing Wine with Nature

Joshua H. Viers, John N. Williams, Kimberly A. Nicholas, Olga Barbosa, Inge Kotzé, Liz Spence, Leanne B. Webb, Adina Merenlender, Mark Reynolds

As an essential component of food security, agricultural landscapes must play a role in conservation efforts because they occupy large areas of land, are adjacent to critical habitat, and both depend on and provide ecosystem services. Winegrapes are a high-value specialty crop that can both…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Reproductive ecology of the island scrub-jay

Luke Caldwell, Victoria J. Bakker, T. Scott Sillett, Michelle A. Desrosiers, Scott A. Morrison, Lisa M. Angeloni

The Island Scrub-Jay is the only island restricted bird species in the continental U.S.  This study presents findings of a comprehensive breeding ecology study, aimed at elucidating demographic parameters and natural history information needed for conservation management.


Terrestrial | Planning | Data

Western San Joaquin Valley Least Conflict Solar Energy Assessment data

Butterfield, H.S., D. Cameron, E. Brand, M. Webb, E. Forsburg, M. Kramer, E. O’Donoghue, L. Crane

The Western San Joaquin Valley Least Conflict Solar Energy Assessment characterizes the land use constraints and opportunities associated with siting solar energy facilities in the Western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV). Because the San Joaquin Valley currently has no official process to develop a conservation and…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Western San Joaquin Valley Least Conflict Solar Energy Assessment

Butterfield, H.S., D. Cameron, E. Brand, M. Webb, E. Forsburg, M. Kramer, E. O’Donoghue, L. Crane

A Conservancy analysis of the western Mojave Desert identified where human activities had degraded the conservation value of lands making them potentially low impact locations for development of solar facilities. In this assessment authors applied that same approach in the Western San Joaquin Valley—an area with…



Terrestrial | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Southwestern California Climate Report webmap

Brian Cohen

The Southwestern California Climate Report provides 50-year climate scenarios and plant species distribution forecasts to help inform conservation priorities in southwestern California. Spatial data of mid-21st century habitat suitability (refugia, stress, expansion) for 106 native plant species are available here. 


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Laying the Foundation: How Existing Conservation Areas Have Helped Prepare California for Climate Change

Klausmeyer, K, D. Cameron, S. Morrison

This study evaluated the existing network of conservation lands in California to determine the extent to which it includes landscape features that may be especially important for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change. The authors found that past conservation action has created an…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Farm practices for food safety: an emerging threat to floodplain and riparian ecosystem

Gennet, S., J. Howard, J. Langholz, K. Andrews, M.D. Reynolds, S.A. Morrison

This paper discusses the 2006 outbreak of toxic foodborne E. coli and its impact on wildlife. The authors explain how farming practices for food safety that target wildlife can damage ecosystems but may not actually improve the safety of the food supply and how high…


Marine | Publications & Reports

A Transactional and Collaborative Approach to Reducing Effects of Bottom Trawling

Gleason M, Feller EM, Merrifield M, Copps S, Fujita R, Bell M, Rienecke S, Cook C

On the Central Coast of California, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, local fishers and local, state, and federal authorities worked collaboratively to protect large areas of the seafloor from bottom trawling for groundfish while addressing economic impacts of trawl closures. This paper aims to…


Freshwater | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Below the Surface: California’s Freshwater Diversity

Jeanette Howard, Kirk Klausmeyer, Kurt Fesenmyer

Californians face profound decisions regarding the management of their state’s increasingly limited water supply. Critical for decision-making is information about the plants and animals that also rely on California’s freshwater resources to survive. This report includes an atlas of the freshwater biodiversity patterns in California,…



Terrestrial | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Western San Joaquin Valley Least Conflict Solar Energy Assessment webmap

Megan Webb, Scott Butterfield

This webmap is a product of The Nature Conservancy’s 2013 Western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV) Least Conflict Solar Energy Assessment which characterizes the land use and conservation constraints and opportunities associated with siting solar energy facilities in the WSJV in California. This approach identified areas with high…



Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

The role of science in supporting marine protected area network planning and design in California

Emily Saarman, Mary Gleason, John Ugoretz, Satie Airamé, Mark Carr, Evan Fox, Adam Frimodig, Tom Mason, Jason Vasques

This paper explores four key conditions that supported the successful integration of science into the Marine Protected Area network planning effort in California. The redesigned statewide network of MPAs generally reflects the successful integration of science and science-based MPA design guidelines into a public policy…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Designing a network of marine protected areas in California: Achievements, costs, lessons learned, and challenges ahead

Mary Gleason, Evan Fox, Susan Ashcraft, Jason Vasques, Elizabeth Whiteman, Paulo Serpa, Emily Saarman, Meg Caldwell, Adam Frimodig, Melissa Miller-Henson, John Kirlin, Becky Ota, Elizabeth Pope, Mike Weber, Ken Wiseman

This paper reviews the design of a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in state waters as mandated by the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). A public–private partnership (the MLPA Initiative) completed four regional public MPA planning processes characterized by robust stakeholder contributions and the…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Enabling conditions to support marine protected area network planning: California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative as a case study

Evan Fox, Melissa Miller-Henson, John Ugoretz, Mike Weber, Mary Gleason, John Kirlin, Meg Caldwell, Sonke Mastrup

In California, after two unsuccessful attempts, statewide planning of a network of marine protected areas (MPA) was achieved through the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. This paper discusses, and highlights the importance of, six enabling conditions in this planning effort. These conditions enabled the…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative: Supporting implementation of legislation establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas

John Kirlin, Meg Caldwell, Mary Gleason, Mike Weber, John Ugoretz, Evan Fox, Melissa Miller-Henson

This paper reviews how recommendations developed through the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative supported regulatory decisions by the California Fish and Game Commission to greatly expand the network of marine protected areas. The network includes 124 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), covering 16% of state…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Addressing policy issues in a stakeholder-based and science-driven marine protected area network planning process

Evan Fox, Sean Hastings, Melissa Miller-Henson, Dominique Monie, John Ugoretz, Adam Frimodig, Craig Shuman, Brian Owens, Rebecca Garwood, Darci Connor, Paulo Serpa, Mary Gleason

This paper explores the strategies used to address policy issues that arose in marine protected area (MPA) planning process in California. The authors provide examples from six specific topic areas—fisheries management, water quality, military use areas, marine bird and mammal protection, dredging and maintenance, and tribal…


Marine | Planning | Technology | Publications & Reports

MarineMap: A web-based platform for collaborative marine protected area planning

Matthew S. Merrifield, Will McClintock, Chad Burt, Evan Fox, Paulo Serpa, Charles Steinback, Mary Gleason

This paper reviews the creation and use of MarineMap, a spatial decision support system that enabled stakeholder participation in designing marine protected areas (MPAs). The authors highlight why it was a necessary component of the planning process for California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. 


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Adapting stakeholder processes to region-specific challenges in marine protected area network planning

Evan Foxa, Eric Poncelet, Darci Connor, Jason Vasques, John Ugoretz, Scott McCreary, Dominique Monié, Michael Harty, Mary Gleason

This paper examines how differences in regional characteristics and lessons learned influenced three important elements of the stakeholder process of California's Marine Life Protected Area (MLPA) Initiative including convening the stakeholders, managing stakeholder engagement, and integrating input from managing state agencies. It provides a case…



Freshwater | Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Decline and Recovery of Small Mammals after Flooding: Implications for Pest Management and Floodplain Community Dynamics

Golet G.H., J. Hunt, D. Koenig

Floodplains often are managed both for agriculture and as habitat for native species. On the Sacramento River, farmers have expressed concern that natural areas may be sources of pests to adjoining farmlands, generating opposition to riparian restoration. This study examined this question by studying small…


Marine | Economics | Publications & Reports

Fort Bragg Central Coast Risk Pool Annual Summary Report 2012

Kate Labrum, Dwayne Oberhoff

In 2011, the west coast groundfish fishery transitioned into a catch share fishery, or Individual Fishing Quota management system. Under this type of management system, the annual total allowable catch is divided into shares, or quota, and allocated to individual fishermen. This report describes a…


Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Central Coast Trawl Impact and Recovery Study: 2009-2012 Final Report

James Lindholm, Mary Gleason, Donna Kline, Larissa Clary, Steve Rienecke, Michael Bell

This report summarizes the results of a multi-year study (June 2009 to December 2012) to assess the impacts of bottom trawling on seafloor habitats and associated biological communities. This project used small foot-rope trawl gear in an experimental study conducted in unconsolidated, soft-sediment habitat on…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Differential effects of food availability and nest predation risk on avian reproductive strategies

HR Sofaer, TS Sillett, SI Peluc, SA Morrison, CK Ghalambor

Island archipelagos can provide useful opportunities for comparative studies in ecology. In this paper, for example, breeding ecology of a songbird was studied on two of the California Channel Islands, which share many environmental attributes but differ in ways that elicit different behavioral responses in…


Marine | Planning | Science | Maps & Webmaps

California Coastal and Marine Program: Protecting Fish Stocks and Livelihoods

Matt Merrifield, Megan Webb, Katie Andrews

Since 2007, The Nature Conservancy has pioneered a first-of-its-kind fishery reform approach that aligns communities, the fishing industry, and conservation interests to drive strategic changes in fishery management and harvest practices. We have provided science and planning expertise and applied technology to increase efficiency and…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Hierarchical distance-sampling models to estimate population size and habitat-specific abundance of an island endemic

TS Sillett, RB Chandler, JA Royle, M Kéry, SA Morrison

The Island Scrub-Jay occurs only on 250 km2 Santa Cruz Island. This study combined an intensive, short-term field survey with novel statistical modeling to generate estimates of population abundance, and to characterize its habitat and distribution across its global range.


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Breeding density, not life history, predicts interpopulation differences in territorial aggression in a passerine bird

JongminYoon, T. Scott Sillett, Scott A.Morrison, Cameron K. Ghalambora

When members of a single species display very different behavioral patterns it can present a helpful model for ecological study. This paper examines two breeding populations of a songbird species: one population is mostly sedentary and breeds on the Channel Islands of California; the other…


Terrestrial | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

An evaluation of monitoring methods for the endangered giant kangaroo rat

Tim Bean, Bob Stafford, Laura Prugh, Scott Butterfield, Justin Brashares

This paper compares the efficacy of different monitoring methods for estimating distribution, abundance, and population growth of the endangered giant kangaroo rat to determine the best practices for monitoring. Expert rapid assessment of sites performed nearly as well as trapping in determining range extent, while…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Solar Energy Development in the Western Mojave Desert

Cameron, D., S. Parker, B. Cohen, J. Randall, B. Christian, J. Moore, L. Crane, S. A. Morrison

Industrial-scale renewable energy generation facilities can have sizable footprints and therefore significant impact on the conservation values of a landscape. This assessment focused on a region experiencing intense development pressure, the western Mojave Desert, to highlight how facilities could be sited to have lower impact…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

An Approach to Enhance the Conservation-Compatibility of Solar Energy Development

Cameron, D.R., B.S. Cohen, S.A. Morrison

California, like many regions in the world, needs to plan for emissions reductions and domestic clean energy. Ideally, that would be done in a way that is strategic, not reactionary. Through science-based landscape planning for conservation and energy, the trade-offs between energy development and habitat…



Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Economic costs of achieving current conservation goals in the future as climate changes

M. Rebecca Shaw, Kirk Klausmeyer, D. Richard Cameron, Jason MacKenzie, Patrick Roehrdanz

Species will move around the landscape as the climate changes, presenting challenges for traditional conservation strategies like land acquisition. This paper models the cost and total land area that needs to be protected by 2100 to track the changing distribution of 11 focal species of…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Small Reserves Can Successfully Preserve Rare Plants Despite Management Challenges

Parker, S.S

Small preserves are difficult to manage, but they can be important for rare plant protection. The article outlines the management challenges faced by small preserves, provides a case study from The San Bernardino Mountains of southern California, and suggests strategies and management recommendations for rare…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Restoring Salmon Habitat: Garcia River Forest

Jennifer Carah, Jason Pelletier

A two-page summary of salmon restoration efforts at the Garcia River Forest on the North Cost of California focusing on the reintroduction of wood in streams as a strategy.


Freshwater | Publications & Reports

Where Does California’s Water Come From? Land conservation and the watersheds that supply California’s drinking water

Kirk Klausmeyer, Katie Fitzgerald

Key to protecting drinking water for all Californians is understanding the sources and health of the thier watersheds. This study maps California's surface drinking water sources, the watersheds that supply water to those sources, and the land protection status of those watershed lands. It includes…


Freshwater | Maps & Webmaps

California's Flood Risk: Green Solutions for an Uncertain Future

Kirk Klausmeyer, Megan Webb

Almost 9 million acres of California are at risk from flooding. These flood zones cover 16% of the state’s urban and suburban development, and 36% of the state’s land dedicated to cultivated crops. As the climate changes, flooding is likely to be more frequent and…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Video

Saving Salmon One Log at a Time

The Nature Conservancy, Jennifer Carah

Salmon and trout thrive in streams with cool water, low levels of sand and silt, and deep, shaded pools. Intensive forest management in California over the last 150 years led to the removal of these streamside trees, eliminating the cover that salmon depend upon. Restoration…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Grassland community composition drives small-scale spatial patterns in soil properties and processes

Parker, S.S., E.W. Seabloom, J.P. Schimel

Understanding how plant invasions occur is vitally important for land managers and conservationists working to enhance biodiversity in California grasslands. While much of the research on this topic has focused on the shifting mosaic of plant species aboveground, this study highlights how understanding the differences…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Near-term priorities for the science, practice, and policy of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Halpern, B.S., Diamond, J., Gaines, S., Gelcich, S., Gleason, M., Jennings, S., Lester, S., Mace, A., McCook, L., McLeod, K., Napoli, N., Rawson, K., Rice, J., Rosenberg, A., Ruckelshaus, M., Saier, B., Sandifer, P., Sholtz, A., Zivian, A.

This paper informs emerging efforts to implement coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) in the United States, Europe and elsewhere around the world. In order to identify priority needs for significantly advancing CMSP, the authors—expertsexperts in the science, policy and practice of CMSP—developed recommendations for…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Proactive Conservation Management of an Island-endemic Bird Species in the Face of Global Change

Scott A. Morrison, T. Scott Sillett, Cameron K. Ghalambor, John W. Fitzpatrick, David M. Graber, Victoria J. Bakker, Reed Bowman, Charles T. Collins, Paul W. Collins, Kathleen Semple Delaney, Daniel F. Doak, Walter D. Koenig, Lyndal Laughrin, Alan A. Lieberman, John M. Marzluff, Mark D. Reynolds, J. Michael Scott, Jerre Ann Stallcup, Winston Vickers, Walter M. Boyce

This paper discusses conservation of the Island Scrub-Jay in the context of novel threats posed by climate change. The authors discuss management actions that could reduce extinction risk—including vaccination, captive propagation, biosecurity measures, and establishing a second free-living population on a neighboring island—and present a…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

The impact of climate change on California’s ecosystem services

Shaw, M.R., L. Pendleton, D.R. Cameron, B. Morris, D. Bachelet, K. Klausmeyer, J. MacKenzie, D.R. Conklin, G.N. Bratman, J. Lenihan, E. Haunreiter, C. Daly, P.R. Roehrdanz

As the climate warms, changes in ecosystems will impact human communities and livelihoods. This paper, together with a California Energy Commission Scenarios Report of the same name, explores the broad impacts of climate change on ecosystem services and California’s economy. These publications help direct land…


Terrestrial | Technology | Publications & Reports

The use of airborne laser scanning to develop a pixel-based stratification for a verified carbon offset project

Jordan Golinkoff, Mark Hanus, Jennifer Carah

The voluntary carbon market is a new and growing market that is increasingly important to consider in managing forestland. Monitoring, reporting, and verifying carbon stocks and fluxes at a project level is the single largest direct cost of a forest carbon offset project. There are…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Trophic considerations in eradicating multiple pests

SA Morrison

Invasive species can have profound effects on island ecosystems. So, too, can their removal. And interactions among species can both help and hinder the attainment of restoration goals. This paper provides a 30 year retrospective review of the multiple eradications that have occurred on Santa…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Surveillance for West Nile virus and vaccination of free-ranging island scrub-jays (Aphelocoma insularis) on Santa Cruz Island, California

Walter M. Boyce, Winston Vickers, Scott A. Morrison, Scott Sillett, Luke Caldwell, Sarah S. Wheeler, Christopher M. Barker, Robert Cummings, William K. Reisen

As West Nile virus invaded the mainland southern California coast in 2003 there were widespread die-offs of certain species of bird. Corvids (e.g., jays, ravens, crows) were especially susceptible. Concerns about the potential impact on Island Scrub-Jays – which are restricted to Santa Cruz Island,…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Efficacy of three vaccines in protecting Western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica) from experimental infection with West Nile virus: implications for vaccination of Island scrub-jays (Aphelocoma insularis)

Sarah S. Wheeler, Stanley Langevin, Leslie Woods, Brian D. Carroll, Winston Vickers, Scott A. Morrison, Gwong-Jen J. Chang, William K. Reisen, Walter M. Boyce

Concerns about the spread of West Nile virus in North America and the high mortality it causes in corvids have led managers to consider vaccination as a strategy to proactively protect free-ranging Island Scrub-Jays. But, are available vaccines effective? This study tested the efficacy of…


Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

SalmonScape: Priorities for Conserving California’s Salmon and Steelhead Diversity

Jeanette Howard, Kirk Klausmeyer, Sally Liu

This report analyzed Chinook, coho salmon, and steelhead trout population and habitat data across California to identify a portfolio of places called the SalmonScape. SalmonScape identifies areas in California with the greatest potential for habitat restoration and protection, and where wild salmon also have the best…


Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

SalmonScape map

Megan Webb, Jeanette Howard , Kirk Klausmeyer, Sally Liu

The Conservancy's SalmonScape is an analysis and map that analyzed and ranked the watersheds that support or contribute to salmon habitat in California based on where conservation efforts would have the best return-on-investment. The analysis helped coordinate and direct salmon conservation efforts across the state.


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Landscape-scale indicators of biodiversity's vulnerability to climate change

Klausmeyer, K. R., M. R. Shaw, J.B. MacKenzie, D.R.Cameron

This analysis provides an approach for distilling complex climate and landscape data into actions land managers can take to help plants and animals adapt to a changing climate. Based on historical data, climate projections and landscape attributes like topography, coastal proximity and habitat fragmentation that…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

The essential non-science of eradication programmes: creating conditions for success

SA Morrison, KR Faulkner, LA Vermeer, L Lozier, MR Shaw

Eradication programs are complex undertakings that require comprehensive multidisciplinary planning and nimble adaptive implementation. This paper discusses the preparation that went into the most intensive feral pig eradication program to date, and highlights how that preparation enabled to project to proceed uninterrupted, despite numerous anticipated…


Terrestrial | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Increasing the return on investments in island restoration

A Saunders, JP Parkes, A Aguirre-Munoz, SA Morrison

Tremendous advances over recent decades in eradication of invasive species on islands raise the question whether there are now opportunities to further increase the pace and scale of that work. This paper highlights the increased return on investment that could come via conservationists, scientists, managers,…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Northern Sierra Partnership Climate Adaptation Assessment

Cameron, D., K. Klausmeyer, J. Mackenzie, G. Low, L. Provencher

Climate change will impact plants and animals across the state, and conservationists are often unaware of the best way to address this threat. While much of the land in the Northern Sierra is public and protected from development, it is still at risk to changes…


Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change: Methods and Lessons Learned from Mt. Hamilton, California

Kirk Klausmeyer, Dan Olstein, Terri Schulz, Robin Cox, Sasha Gennet, Jason MacKenzie

While the literature and guidance on traditional conservation planning methods is extensive, there are few case studies on methods for incorporating climate change into conservation planning efforts. This report outlines the methods the Conservancy used to develop strategies to help species adapt in the Mount…


Freshwater | Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Conservation Assessment of U.S. West Coast Estuaries

Mary Gleason, Sarah Newkirk, Matt Merrifield, Jeanette Howard, Robin Cox, Megan Webb, Jennifer Koepcke, Brian Stranko, Bethany Taylor, Mike Beck, Roger Fuller, Dick VanderSchaaf, Jena Carter

While significant progress has been made over the past few decades in improving estuarine water quality, restoring wetland habitats, and incorporating estuarine habitats into managed areas, estuarine conservation efforts along the U.S. West Coast—including Washington, Oregon, and California—have generally proceeded on a bay-by-bay basis, with…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Temporal and taxonomic variability in response of fauna to riparian restoration

G.H. Golet, T. Gardali, J.W. Hunt, D.A. Koenig, N.M. Williams

Most assessments of ecological restoration success track a single type of species over a single season. This study explores the limitations of such studies by examining how birds, rodents, bees and beetles responded to restoration along the Sacramento River for up to five years. The authors…


Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Identifying habitat conservation priorities and gaps for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl in California

Stralberg, D., D. Cameron, M. Reynolds, C. Hickey, K. Klausmeyer, S. Busby, L. Stenzel, W. Shuford, G. Page

This analysis provides the first comprehensive overview of the specific habitats used by 42 different migratory waterbird species throughout California. The authors reveal important gaps in protection for wintering habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl and highlight the importance of agricultural lands in migratory bird conservation. They advocate…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Buried treasure: soil biodiversity and conservation

Sophie Parker

Soils harbor an estimated 1.6 million species. An estimated 1% of the earth’s topsoil is lost each year and in the U.S. over 500 rare soil types are classified as endangered. The biodiversity of soils underpins crucial ecosystem services which support the plants and animals typically targeted…


Terrestrial | Planning | Maps & Webmaps

Renewables in the Mojave Desert

Brian Cohen

This map and a series of others in the Conservancy's 2010 Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment have played a guiding role in siting—and mitigating the impacts of—renewable energy development throughout the Mojave Desert. The Assessment helped shape the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Completed and signed in 2016, the…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment

John M. Randall, Sophie S. Parker, James Moore, Brian Cohen, Laura Crane, Bill Christian, Dick Cameron, Jason B. Mackenzie, Kirk Klausmeyer, Scott Morrison

Regional conservation planning is critical to inform land and resource use decisions. The Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment represents an important advance in such planning, because of how its output  characterized not just areas of high conservation value, but how conservation values distributed and graded across…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Southern Sierra Partnership Framework

Susan Antenen , Dick Cameron, EJ Remson, Jason MacKenzie, Jim Gaither, Sophie Parker, Zach Principe, with Southern Sierra Partnership

This collaborative conservation assessment, characterizes the biodiversity, ecosystem services, ownerships, and land uses in the Southern Sierra and Tehachapi Mountains, and assesses threats to conservation values. The authors examine how a changing climate will impact or interact with these threats, forecast long-term responses in the landscape, and…


Terrestrial | Planning | Data

Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment data

Dick Cameron , Brian Cohen

This dataset is a product of the Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment and characterizes the distribution of biodiversity conservation values and land disturbance to help inform regional land-use and conservation investment. The data were grouped into four categories of conservation value: Ecologically Core, Ecologically Intact,…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Interfacing models of wildlife habitat and human development to predict the future distribution of puma habitat

CL Burdett, KR Crooks, DM Theobald, KR Wilson, EE Boydston, LM Lyren, RN Fisher, TW Vickers, SA Morrison, WM Boyce

Long-term studies of animal movement can generate data that allow for robust modeling of habitat use by the species. This study characterizes and maps the distribution of habitat for mountain lions in coastal southern California, and combines those data with models of projected urban growth…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Convergent Conservation

S.A. Morrison

Conservationists around the world work in systems and on problems that often have clear analogues to the efforts of others. This essay highlights the importance of collaborating and sharing lessons learned as a means to make conservation not only more effective but also more efficient. 


Freshwater | Publications & Reports

Mapping Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in California

Jeanette Howard, Matt Merrifield

In 2014 the California legislature passed a three-bill package (SB 1168, AB 1739, and SB 1319) of groundwater reform legislation that was the most significant update of California water policy in several decades. The legislation provides authorities and guidance for local agencies to develop sustainable…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Tehachapi Conservation Action Plan

Reed Tollefson, Alison Sheehey, Brian Cohen, Sophie Parker, E.J. Remson, Zach Principe, Tom Maloney, Michael White

This Conservation Action Plan identifies targets, threats, and actions to achieve conservation success in the face of climate change in the Tehachapi Mountains. The Tehachapis lie at the convergence of four ecoregions in California and constitute an important landscape linkage between the Sierra Nevada Mountains…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Rapid eradication of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) from Santa Cruz Island, California

John P. Parkes, David S.L.Ramsey, Norman Macdonald, Kelvin Walker, Sean McKnight, Brian S.Cohen, Scott A. Morrison

This paper describes the approach, planning, and field implementation of an intensive effort to eradicate a population of feral pigs from an island. Key elements of the project included comprehensive data collection of all field effort and outcomes, and comprehensive use of helicopters in nearly…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Science-based and stakeholder-driven marine protected area network planning: A successful case study from north central California

Mary Gleason, Scott McCreary, Melissa Miller-Henson, John Ugoretz, Evan Fox, Matt Merrifield, Will McClintock, Paulo Serpa, Kathryn Hoffman

This paper describes the planning process for California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) in north central California. The process represents a case study in the design of a regional component of a statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) for improved ecosystem protection. The authors…


Freshwater | Planning | Publications & Reports

California’s Freshwater Biodiversity in a Continental Context

Howard, J, C. Revenga

Worldwide, freshwater species and habitats are, on average, more imperiled than their terrestrial or marine counterparts. Despite concerns over the health of the world’s freshwater species and systems, there have been few attempts to systematically describe patterns of freshwater biodiversity. Without robust biodiversity data, conservationists…


Marine | Publications & Reports

Are we missing the boat? Collaborative solutions for North American fish wars

Mary Gleason, Chuck Cook, Michael Bell, Erika Feller

This editorial highlights the polarization and lack of innovation in U.S. fisheries management, using the West Coast groundfish fishery as an example. The authores focus on the need for new models of collaboration among NGOs, fishermen, and regulators in order to create a brighter future for our…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Fire on Guadalupe Island reveals some old wounds – and new opportunity

Oberbauer, T., L. Luna Mendoza, N. Citlali Oliveres, L. Barbosa Deveze, I. Granillo Duarten, S.A. Morrison

Guadalupe Island in Mexico is undergoing a dramatic ecological recovery following the eradication of feral goats. Unfortunately, that eradication came too late for some species and ecosystems, and almost too late for others. The precariousness of some of its extant biota is illustrated by its…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Reproductive consequences of an extreme drought for orange-crowned warblers on Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz Islands

Kathryn M. Langin, T. Scott Sillett, Jongmin Yoon, Helen R. Sofaer, Scott A. Morrison, Cameron K. Ghalambor

Island archipelagos can provide useful opportunities for comparative studies in ecology. For example, breeding ecology of a songbird was studied on two of the California Channel Islands, which share many environmental attributes, such as general vegetation types, but differ in other ways, such as intra-…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Threats and biodiversity in the mediterranean biome

E.C. Underwood, J.H. Viers, K.R. Klausmeyer, R.L. Cox, M. R. Shaw

The mediterranean biome is one of the rarest terrestrial ecosystem types on Earth, restricted to only 2% of the world’s land surface. Encompassing portions of southern Australia, central Chile, South Africa’s Cape Region, the Mediterranean Basin, and California and Baja California, the biome is renowned…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Incorporating ecological drivers and uncertainty into a demographic population viability analysis for the island fox

Victoria J. Bakker, Daniel F. Doak, Gary W. Roemer, David K. Garcelon, Timothy J. Coonan, Scott A. Morrison, Colleen Lynch, Katherine Ralls, Rebecca Shaw

Population models can be a critical tool in managing recovery of endangered species. This paper presents an analysis that became the foundation of recovery planning and tracking for the endangered island fox. By combining data from research and long-term monitoring efforts across the six islands…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales

Erik Nelson, Guillermo Mendoza, James Regetz, Stephen Polasky, Heather Tallis, D. Richard Cameron, Kai MA Chan, Gretchen C. Daily, Joshua Goldstein, Peter M. Kareiva, Eric Lonsdorf, Robin Naidoo, Taylor H. Ricketts, M. Rebecca Shaw

Humans benefit from the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems like water filtration, carbon storage, and recreational opportunities to name a few. Assigning economic value to these "ecosystem services" would allow planners to assess the true costs and benefits of different development and land…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Expanding the global network of protected areas to save the imperiled mediterranean biome

Underwood, E.C., K.R. Klausmeyer, R.L. Cox, S.M. Busby, S.A. Morrison, M.R.Shaw

Mediterranean habitats are among the rarest on Earth. Characterized by warm dry summers and cool wet winters, they are restricted to only 2% of the Earth’s land surface–portions of southern Australia, Chile, South Africa, California and Baja California, and the Mediterranean Basin. Though small, these…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Quantifying eradication success: the removal of feral pigs from Santa Cruz Island, California

DSL Ramsey, J Parkes, SA Morrison

Populations at very low abundance can be very difficult to detect. Consequently, one of the biggest challenges of eradication projects is determining whether an inability to detect the species at the presumed end of a project means that it has been completely removed. A helpful…


Terrestrial | Planning | Publications & Reports

Conserving connectivity: some lessons from mountain lions in southern California

Scott Morrison, Walter Boyce

Critical for biodiversity conservation is the retention of ecological connectivity in the landscape, so that wildlife—and the natural processes that sustain wildlife—can move around. Ideally, that cohesion would be protected by conserving landscape-scale linkages—large swaths of relatively intact habitat joining core reserve lands. Where linkages…


Terrestrial | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

One size does not fit all: the use of cattle grazing for grassland management at Carrizo Plain National Monument

Caroline Christian , Lawrence Saslaw, H. Scott Butterfield

To better understand the ecological role of cattle grazing in managing Carrizo Plain National Monument, we initiated a long-term study in 1997 designed to evaluate the effects of cattle grazing on native plant communities and giant kangaroo rats. Contrary to grazing studies conducted elsewhere in…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Wildlife Response to Restoration on the Sacramento River

Golet G.H., T. Gardali, C. Howell, J. Hunt, R. Luster, B. Rainey, M. Roberts, H. Swagerty, N. Williams

Studies that assess the success of riparian restoration projects seldom focus on wildlife. More often, vegetation is studied, with the assumption that animal populations will recover once adequate habitats are established. Authors of this paper present an exception: findings of a suite of studies that…


Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Establishing Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks–Making it Happen

Dan Laffoley, Alan T. White, Stacey Kilarski, Mary Gleason, Scott Smith, Ghislaine Llewellyn , Jon Day , Annie Hillary, Victoria Wedell, Daphine Pee

With government, agency and organizational partners, Conservancy scientists helped publish an IUCN guidebook to inspire conservation investment in global marine protection and provide a case study from the Marine Life Protection Act in California. It provides essential information to better understand the role of marine…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Reducing risk and enhancing efficiency in non-native vertebrate removal efforts on islands: a 25 year multi-taxa retrospective from Santa Cruz Island, CA

Scott A. Morrison

Eradication of invasive non-native species is often necessary to protect island ecosystems. Eradication efforts can nonetheless be risky investments. How they are planned and implemented can greatly reduce the risk of failure. Santa Cruz Island provides an interesting case study in eradication, because a variety…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Facing the dilemma at eradication’s end: uncertainty of absence and the Lazarus effect

Scott A. Morrison, Norman Macdonald, Kelvin Walker, Lynn Lozier, M Rebecca Shaw

One of the greatest challenges in pest eradication is knowing when it has been achieved. This paper discusses why that is challenging, and why it is so important to consider how that challenge will be met before any eradication effort is initiated. For many vertebrates,…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Publications & Reports

Designing and establishing conservation areas in the Baja California-Southern California border region

M.D. White , J.A. Stallcup, K. Comer, M.A. Vargas, J.M. Beltran Abaunza, F. Ochoa, S.A. Morrison

The California South Coast Ecoregion, a global biodiversity hotspot, is bisected by the US-Mexico border. Development near the border, ranging from urban sprawl to border security infrastructure, threatens to sever the ecological cohesion of the ecoregion, to the detriment of conservation – and ecosystem services…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Planning | Science | Publications & Reports

Where to draw the line: integrating feasibility into connectivity planning

Scott A. Morrison, Mark D. Reynolds

Protecting, restoring, and enhancing habitat connectivity in already fragmented landscapes poses many challenges for conservationists. This essay discusses the importance of considering implementation feasibility when developing connectivity conservation priorities and plans. In Connectivity Conservation edited by Kevin R. Crooks and M Sanjayan.  


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Abundance Patterns of Landbirds in Restored and Remnant Riparian Forests on the Sacramento River, California, U.S.A.

Gardali T. , A.L. Holmes, S.L. Small, N. Nur, G.R. Geupel, G.H. Golet

Restoration efforts on the Sacramento River are focusing on revegetating the land with native plants and restoring natural river processes in an attempt to recover wildlife populations. To evaluate the success of these efforts, surveys were conducted of landbirds on revegetated and remnant riparian plots.…


Freshwater | Terrestrial | Planning | Economics | Science | Publications & Reports

Assessing societal impacts when planning restoration on large alluvial rivers: A case study of the Sacramento River Project, CA

Golet G.H., M.D. Roberts , E.W. Larsen, R.A. Luster, R. Unger, G. Werner, G.G. White.

River restoration projects have the potential to influence many of the services that rivers provide to people, yet rarely is this studied in a comprehensive manner. This paper reports on a set of coordinated studies that were conducted to evaluate the effects of alternative restoration…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Global Deserts Outlook: United Nations Environment Programme

United Nations Environment Programme, chapters co-authored by Scott Morrison

For the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2006, a team of environmental and social scientists assembled to assess the state of the world’s deserts. This report is the product of that effort, which includes chapters co-authored by Conservancy scientist Scott Morrison on Natural history…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Assessing gaps in marine conservation in California

Mary G. Gleason, Matt S. Merrifield, Chuck Cook, Audrey L. Davenport, Rebecca Shaw

This study is the first marine gap analysis for California. It quantifies what is protected and what is not and highlights conservation needs and opportunities. Less than 5% of marine habitats are within no-take or limited-take marine protected areas (MPAs) that afford a high level…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Northern California Marine Ecoregional Assessment

Mary Gleason, Matt Merrifield, Chuck Cook, Miguel Hall

The Conservancy's science and planning staff in California prepared this assessment of the most important areas for conservation of marine biodiversity in the Northern California Marine Ecoregion–one of four major divisions of the California Current System–that extends from Oregon south to Point Conception and covers 11 million hectares (42,493…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Cattle grazing can maintain diversity of vernal pool grasslands

Marty, Jaymee T.

Livestock grazing in the American West often conjures up images of cattle degrading riparian areas or spreading weeds throughout desert rangeland. But cattle grazing does not always or necessarily harm biodiversity. In areas where native herbivores have been eliminated, livestock grazing may replicate ecological disturbance…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Annual survivorship of a sedentary sparrow: no effect of edge or rainfall

Scott A. Morrison, Douglas T. Bolger, T. Scott Sillett

Fragmentation-sensitive species – those that tend to disappear when their habitat is fragmented – pose particular challenges for conservation, in part because fragmentation ushers in such a wide array of ecological changes. This study focuses on one such species, examining whether its annual survivorship is…


Marine | Planning | Publications & Reports

Southern California Marine Ecoregional Assessment

Mary Gleason, Matt Merrifield, Craig Mayer, Michelle McCutchan, Chuck Cook

The Conservancy's science and planning staff in California prepared this assessment of the most important areas for conservation of marine biodiversity in the Southern California Marine Ecoregion—one of four major divisions of the California Current. The California Current is recognized as a globally significant region…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Variation in a sparrow’s reproductive success with rainfall: food and predator-mediated processes

Scott A. Morrison, Douglas T. Bolger

Reproductive success of many species in arid environments can be sensitive to rainfall patterns: rainfall events can produce a boom of primary productivity that fuels an ecological response from the “bottom-up.” This study describes the reproductive success of a songbird in a semi-arid region over…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Lack of an urban edge effect on reproduction in a fragmentation-sensitive sparrow

Scott A. Morrison, Douglas T. Bolger

Fragmentation-sensitive species – those that tend to disappear when their habitat is fragmented – pose particular challenges for conservation, in part because fragmentation ushers in such a wide array of ecological changes. This study focuses on one such species, examining whether reproductive success is different…


Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

Arthropods in urban habitat fragments in southern California: area, age and edge effects

Douglas T. Bolger, Andrew V. Suarez, Kevin R. Crooks, Scott A. Morrison, Ted J. Case

Habitat fragmentation ushers in a wide array of ecological changes, and understanding the drivers and impacts of those changes is critical for conservation management. This study examines an often overlooked suite of taxa – arthropods – and describes patterns of abundance and diversity across a…