The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently
initiated a new program of ecoregion-based conservation. This program
aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of TNC's conservation
activities through a systematic approach to regional portfolio assembly
coupled to local, on-the-ground implementation.
In 1998, TNC funded a project at UCSB to:
Sites 1.0 is a customized ArcView project that facilitates designing and
analyzing alternative portfolios. The software in Sites 1.0 to select
regionally representative systems of nature reserves for the conservation
of biodiversity is called the Site Selection Module (SSM). It is
a streamlined derivative of SPEXAN 3.0 (Spatially Explicit Annealing) that
was developed by Ian Ball and Hugh Possingham. SPEXAN was originally
developed as a stand-alone program with no GIS interface for displaying
portfolios and ancillary spatial data. The model was applied in two
TNC ecoregions--the Idaho Batholith and the Northern Sierra Nevada.
This web site contains the Sites 1.0 software, example data sets, and a
slide show demonstrating the modeling process.
Develop a new reserve siting tool for regional conservation analysis that
explicitly incorporates spatial design criteria into the site selection
Test and apply the new planning approach and performance measures in a
structured decision process involving local TNC staff to develop hypothetical
conservation portfolios in two different ecoregions.
Produce a web-based tutorial, including worked examples using TNC data
and ecoregions; and conduct a training workshop for TNC staff interested
in learning and applying the regional conservation planning tools to other