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SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Tuesday, October 23 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
SYMPOSIUM-04: The Future of Model-based Decision Making: Seizing Opportunities and Overcoming Barriers

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AUTHORS: Todd Jones-Farrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Healy Hamilton, NatureServe; Rua Mordecai, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: In this symposium, we’ve demonstrated several examples of species distribution models (SDMs) being used to support various conservation decisions from acquisition to land management to survey design. These examples have come from across the Southeast and have covered a broad array of taxa including fish, plants and insects – SDMs aren’t just for birds anymore. However, these examples are still the exception to the rule. Most conservation decisions are not informed by an explicit model and are therefore less transparent, repeatable and defensible. Likewise, most SDMs are developed without a particular decision context in mind, which limits their utility. In this presentation, we will paint a picture of a world where modeling is integrated into the culture & practice of decision making. Several key components are a necessary part of this vision. First, biologists must be able to recognize decision-quality models and have the capacity to develop them when they don’t exist. Second, decision makers need to understand proper and improper application of SDMs to management and conservation. Finally, biologists and decision makers need to work together so that model outputs are translated into decisions with high degrees of defensibility. The advantages of using SDMs are many, including formalizing our current understanding of species status, guiding status surveys, and predicting likely outcomes of landscape changes or conservation actions. However, we need to seize opportunities and overcome some technical and social barriers if we are to achieve this idyllic vision. Doing so is critical to the success of the conservation enterprise.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 4:20pm - 4:40pm
Grand Bay I

Attendees (7)