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San Francisco, CA, United States

Morrison S.A.,California Chapter | Sillett T.S.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Ghalambor C.K.,Colorado State University | Fitzpatrick J.W.,Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology | And 19 more authors.
BioScience | Year: 2011

Biodiversity conservation in an era of global change and scarce funding benefits from approaches that simultaneously solve multiple problems. Here, we discuss conservation management of the island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), the only island-endemic passerine species in the continental United States, which is currently restricted to 250-square-kilometer Santa Cruz Island, California. Although the species is not listed as threatened by state or federal agencies, its viability is nonetheless threatened on multiple fronts. We 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. Establishing a second population on Santa Rosa Island may have the added benefit of accelerating the restoration and enhancing the resilience of that island's currently highly degraded ecosystem. The proactive management framework for island scrub-jays presented here illustrates how strategies for species protection, ecosystem restoration, and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change can converge into an integrated solution. © 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Source


Calil J.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Beck M.W.,Global Marine Team | Gleason M.,California Chapter | Merrifield M.,California Chapter | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Flooding is the most common and damaging of all natural disasters in the United States, and was a factor in almost all declared disasters in U.S. history. Direct flood losses in the U.S. in 2011 totaled $8.41 billion and flood damage has also been on the rise globally over the past century. The National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $38 billion in claims since its inception in 1968, more than a third of which has gone to the one percent of policies that experienced multiple losses and are classified as "repetitive loss." During the same period, the loss of coastal wetlands and other natural habitat has continued, and funds for conservation and restoration of these habitats are very limited. This study demonstrates that flood losses could be mitigated through action that meets both flood risk reduction and conservation objectives. We found that there are at least 11,243km2 of land in coastal California, which is both flood-prone and has natural resource conservation value, and where a property/structure buyout and habitat restoration project could meet multiple objectives. For example, our results show that in Sonoma County, the extent of land that meets these criteria is 564km2. Further, we explore flood mitigation grant programs that can be a significant source of funds to such projects. We demonstrate that government funded buyouts followed by restoration of targeted lands can support social, environmental, and economic objectives: reduction of flood exposure, restoration of natural resources, and efficient use of limited governmental funds. © 2015 Calil et al. Source

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