Resilient and Connected Landscapes
Climate change is expected to alter species distributions, modify ecological processes, and exacerbate environmental degradation. To offset these effects, the need for strategic land conservation is greater than ever. The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected Landscapes project comprehensively maps resilient lands and significant climate corridors across Eastern North America. The study took eight years to complete, involved 60 scientists, and developed innovative new techniques for mapping climate-driven movements.
TNC developed three interactive maps to help explain the project:
- Resilient Land | Identifies the most climate-resilient areas for each of 62 characteristic environments in Eastern North America. The study develops new methods for mapping species-relevant microclimates and highly connected lands in order to identify places where species are most likely to persist. The map tool allows non-profits, communities, and policy makers to view the resilience results and use basic analytic tools to understand the data and assess specific areas.
- Connected Landscapes | Maps climate-resilient sites, confirmed biodiversity locations, and species movement areas across Eastern North America. The study uses the information to prioritize a conservation portfolio that naturally aligns these features into a network of resilient sites integrated with the species movement zones. This network acts as a blueprint for conservation that represents all habitats.
- Conservation Strategies | Provides specific conservation strategies to act as illustrative examples of where the prioritized network of resilient and connected lands could be used, in conjunction with other spatial data, to strategically maximize benefits for multiple objectives.
The project website features the background reports, analysis, and research papers that supplement the data, including the 2016 report Resilient and Connected Landscapes for Terrestrial Conservation.