Sharing Regional Data through Nature's Network

Sharing Regional Data through Nature's Network

The development of regional datasets that can serve to improve natural resource conservation and management has been a priority of the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. The NALCC has been successful in producing multiple data sets with a wealth of information. Nature’s Network is a collaborative effort developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Science Applications program that builds on the regional partnerships of the NALCC. Nature’s Network pulls together the datasets that have resulted from the efforts of the NALCC and other conservation efforts and helps conservation organizations use the data to conserve and connect intact habitats and ecosystems. The data helps identify priority areas where individual conservation partners can focus their efforts to contribute to regional conservation goals while also meeting the goals of their organizations.

A recent NALCC project completed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), “Enhanced Stewardship of Priority Habitats and Species on Private Lands Using NALCC Science across four Northeastern States,” promotes the use of Nature’s Network to support conservation by partner organizations and conservation practitioners within the North Atlantic region. The WCS project also assists the USFWS in strengthening its relationships with communities by providing tools that help protect natural resources and support community priorities. This was accomplished through several case studies and workshops that showed examples of how Nature’s Network can be used by conservation organizations. In addition, WCS used Nature’s Network in their own work, and highlighted these efforts to partners and donors.

For example, one case study developed in this project was used to identify priority sections along major highways that could serve as potential conservation projects that if implemented, could enhance ecological connectivity. The case study described how practitioners could use existing datasets and tools to identify specific road segments that could be priority sites. The case study moves step by step through the utilization of multiple datasets and tools. In addition to three other case studies, multiple workshops described these case studies and other examples of using Nature’s Network as a way to utilize existing data and tools.

Projects like this not only promote regional conservation, but show how the wealth of data and tools developed from prior conservation efforts can be used and implemented by partners.

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April 15, 2019