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Actions to Abate Critical Threats, Such as Encroachment and Invasive Species, Using GIS and Conservation Area Planning Across the Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership (GCPEP) Landscape, Phase 1

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Annual rept. Oct 2005-Dec 2006

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As the population within the East Gulf Coastal Plain Ecoregion, encompassing northwest Florida and southern Alabama, continues to grow, the federal, state, and private conservation lands in this region face innumerable threats posed by incompatible recreation, landscape fragmentation, urban encroachment, the persistence and spread of invasive species, and increased resource demands in general. Landscape fragmentation and shared boundaries with development at the urban interface restrict species movement and home ranges, increase direct human disturbance to sensitive species and habitats, and can promote the infestation and spread of invasive species. The Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership GCPEP, composed of 10 public agencies and private entities that manage conservation lands including, Eglin AFB, Naval Air Station-Pensacola and Naval Air Station-Whiting Field, works cooperatively through its Conservation Action Plan CAP to strategically address and abate threats such as encroachment and invasive species. Although fire management and land protection have experienced impressive gains across the GCPEP landscape in the last ten years, the lack of a comprehensive, spatially-explicit Geographic Information System GIS delineating vegetative community types and incorporating conservation targets across partner lands is constraining strategic management of threats such as invasive species and urban encroachment. Phase 1 of the current two-year Legacy Resource Management project is focusing on the initialdevelopment of this GIS database and incorporating this database into an updated GCPEP Conservation Area Plan. A powerful Web-based tool, also in development, will allow all GCPEP partners to more efficiently identify invasive species and encroachment issues and develop cost effective, site-specific prescriptions to abate these conservation threats.

Subject Categories:

  • Ecology
  • Cartography and Aerial Photography

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