Finding At-Risk Plants and Animals on Forest Lands

Providing Information and Tools to Partners and Clients to Support Effective Conservation Action

About This Project

With funding from Weyerhaeuser Company, the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), NatureServe developed an approach to help participants in forest certification programs manage for biodiversity on forest lands. First, we created a list of at-risk plants and animals and other species of concern that are most likely to occupy forest lands in a particular area, then we used these species’ habitat requirements to predict where they might be found.

 

Goal

It is often difficult for foresters, woods-workers, and landowners to account for at-risk plants and animals in their land management activities because of a lack of information on where these species are located. Sustainable forestry certification programs like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, and others require that participants account for these species, but protecting them is difficult if forestry professionals do not know where they might be found.

This project was designed to find potential locations of important rare species within a landscape. With this information in hand, land managers (such as foresters) know where these species are most likely to be on the landscape and can adjust their plans to ensure that potential populations are not adversely affected by their activities.

Significance

Since it is impossible to send field biologists out to inspect every site, we must rely on tools such as habitat and species modelling to direct us to the areas with the highest potential to have the species we care about.  This project demonstrates our ability to use available information to find likely populations and share information on where these species are most likely to occur so that our partners can take conservation action to protect those populations.