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Climate change. Invasive species. Habitat fragmentation. These and other growing challenges transcend individual habitats, watersheds, and states, requiring conservation collaboration at broad landscape and regional scales if we are to continue to protect wild things and wild places. The Science Applications Program was established in 2009 to facilitate a cross-program/cross-agency approach connecting the best available science to the most pressing large-scale conservation issues facing the Service. Science Applications works to coordinate partner efforts developing science for common outcomes, ensuring science products are high quality, non-duplicative, and accessible to conservation managers and decision makers. Science Applications strives to enhance the Service's science credibility, internally and externally, by upholding a high standard for science and its application in conservation decision-making using Strategic Habitat Conservation as our business model.

Features


Red-tailed tropic bird swarmed by yellow crazy antsResearchers collecting wetlands data

Researchers collecting wetlands data
Credit: Maureen Ryan

Climate Science Success: North Pacific LCC Funded Work Aiding Land Management Around the Region.


Each year, the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) funds a number of management-relevant projects that enhance understanding the effects of climate change to better inform natural and cultural resource management decisions. In 2011, the NPLCC provided funding to The University of Washington’s Dr. Alan Hamlet for a project researching Climate Change Effects on Pacific Northwest Wetland Ecosystems.



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The Washington ground squirrel, a focal species for the Columbia Plateau, is a candidate for the Endangered Species list.

The Washington ground squirrel, a focal species for the Columbia Plateau, is a candidate for the Endangered Species list.
Photo Credit: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Focal Species Case Study: The Columbia Plateau Ecoregion


As the Service introduces a surrogate species approach to landscape conservation, it helps to look at how this concept has already been applied successfully. In the Pacific Northwest, recent efforts by the Arid Lands Initiative, a diverse partnership of public, private and tribal interests, and the associated Washington Connected Landscapes Project present a case study of how a set of focal or representative species can be assembled and used to put Strategic Habitat Conservation into practice.



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Researchers collecting wetlands data Red-tailed tropic bird swarmed by yellow crazy ants

Red-tailed tropic bird swarmed by yellow crazy ants
Photo by: Stefan Kropidlowski/USFWS

Yellow Crazy Ants Invading Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge


Crazy aunts may smother family members with pinched cheeks and questionable gifts, but the yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) on Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge smother native wildlife with something more sinister.



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