Strategic Habitat Conservation
Conserving the Nature of America


Strategic Habitat Conservation


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spacer Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Garry Tucker / USFWS

Strategic Habitat Conservation in Action

The Service is working to implement Strategic Habitat Conservation across the country.  Below are stories and personal accounts of how our employees are using this approach to implement conservation on the ground.

Ruth Elsey/Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The non-migratory mottled duck is a relative   of the mallard and looks like a cross between the female mallard and black duck. A new geospatial model, funded by   the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, will help ensure the long-term health of the mottled duck   population that resides along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and Louisiana.Getting Strategic to Protect Prime Gulf Coast Habitat
Scientific advancements are helping wildlife managers gain a better understanding of the mottled duck’s needs and refine their approach for ensuring the long-term health of this Gulf Coast resident. Read more

  Refuge Complex Manager Jude Smith monitoring salt cedar trees that have grown up in the last year due to increase in water levels at Upper Paul’s Lake (saline lake)./ USFWS Managing National Wildlife Refuges As Part of the Landscape
Jude Smith, Refuge Complex Manager in west Texas, is tackling conservation across the landscape where he lives and works. Read more

Adult Bald Eagle. Credit: USFWSProject Leaders Move Forward with SHC in the Southeast
Advancing SHC is in full swing in Region 4. Focusing on species and habitats of interest to the broader conservation community gives many other organizations a way to work together on issues of critical importance. Read more

Spotted sandpiper. Credit: USFWS.Shining a Spotlight on Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Surrogate Species
The Service’s Midwest Region is working to find the appropriate balance between two often-competing realities. Read more

Connecticut River. Credit: USFWS.SHC in Action in the Connecticut River Watershed
Developing a shared blueprint for prioritizing and informing conservation investments and actions in the 7.2 million-acre Connecticut River watershed. Read more

Chinook salmon. Credit: USFWS.SHC in Action in the Klamath Basin
The key features of SHC – biological planning, conservation design and delivery, post-project monitoring, and the use of the best science and data to inform management decisions are all woven into the Klamath Agreements. Read more

A bobolink at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Vermont. Credit: Ken Sturm/USFWSThe Malheur State-and-Transition Model: An Ecological Modeling Approach to Strategic Habitat Conservation
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is using Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) to try to conserve its meadows, home to the largest breeding population of bobolink west of the Great Plains. Learn more.

Pacific Lamprey. Credit: USFWS.Applying SHC to the Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative
Hereís a pop quiz: What Service priority fish species boasts a 400 million-year ancestry, lacks bones, scales, and jaws, and benefits from the Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) framework? If you guessed Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentata), youíre right. Learn more.

Chuck Hunter. Credit: USFWS.A 'Clumper's' View of Strategic Habitat Conservation
Chuck Hunter has been clumping species and habitats together for at least two decades. Itís his way of seeing the world. Learn more.

Bachman's Sparrow. Credit: Eric Soehren / USFWSBirds of a Feather, Linked to an Open Pine Forest
At least 86 bird species are found in open pine communities, including whatís left of the majestic longleaf pine forests that once carpeted the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Only six were chosen by a bird conservation partnership to determine the best places to restore longleaf and similar open pine ecosystems. The East Gulf Coastal Plain Joint Venture calls the six bird species their "umbrella species" for the longleaf habitat, and the concept is related to the surrogate species approach recently adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Learn more.

The Washington ground squirrel, a focal species for the Columbia Plateau, is a candidate for the Endangered Species list. Credit: Washington Department of Fish & WildlifeFocal Species Case Study: The Columbia Plateau Ecoregion
The Pacific Northwest's Columbia Plateau ecoregion presents a case study of how a set of focal or representative species can be assembled and used to put Strategic Habitat Conservation into practice. Learn more.

Mark Brouder of the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership tests mapping capabilities of GIS tool. Credit: USFWSLandscape-Scale Science Helps Conservationists Manage Changing Aquatic Systems
From the Rocky Mountains to the Mid Atlantic, conservationists are joining forces to better understand variables impacting the health of fish populations and their habitats and to generate scientific information that can inform land-use decisions and direct conservation efforts across large landscapes. Learn more.

Greater Sage Grouse. Credit: Stephen Ting / USFWSPartners Help Conserve the Greater Sage Grouseís Home on the Range
One of the most interesting aspects about the Greater sage-grouse is its nearly complete reliance on sagebrush throughout much of its lifecycle. Energy development, wildfires, invasive plant species and other factors have contributed to the loss and fragmentation of the sage-grouseís primary habitat. The bottom line is that Greater sage-grouse cannot survive in areas where sagebrush no longer exists. Learn more.

Apache Trout. Credit: Craig Springer / USFWSInteragency Cooperation Helps Save Arizonaís Apache Trout
Thereís a fish tale out of Arizona that tells a remarkable story of restoration for the threatened Apache trout. Itís a story worth telling because it serves as a model of how effective public-private partnerships and the Strategic Habitat Conservation approach are contributing to successful recovery of a species. And itís the kind of story that bodes well for further successes elsewhere under the Endangered Species Act. Learn more.

Black-footed ferret. Credit: Ryan Hagerty / USFWSLandscape-Scale Collaboration Helps Black-Footed Ferret Bounce Back
The black-footed ferret is considered one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. Its historic range spanned much of the western North Americaís intermountain and prairie grasslands extending from Canada to Mexico. Learn more.


A short tailed albatross chick “meets” a decoy on Mukojima Island. Credit: Greg Balogh / USFWSSTA Meets SHC: Albatross Conservation Follows The SHC Model
Using Strategic Habitat Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners, both national and international, are working to ensure recovery of the short-tailed albatross. Learn more.


California least tern. Credit: USFWSGauging Sea-Level Rise at Five Refuges
Five national wildlife refuges, the Refuge System Inventory and Monitoring program, the U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA’s Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, a handful of other partners and two landscape conservation cooperatives (LCCs) are collaborating on a project along the California coastline that illustrates how LCCs might routinely work on a practical level in the not-too-distant future. Learn more.


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Last updated: December 11, 2014

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