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Conservation Risk for the Lower 48 United States POSTER

Blankenship, Kori and Sarah Hagen

It is neither practical nor feasible to fully protect or restore all habitats, so conservationists must make tough choices about where to invest limited resources. Several methods of prioritizing conservation investment have been devised, but previous analyses have rarely included a measure of vegetation condition or of management effectiveness, and therefore missed a critical component of evaluating conservation risk. In this poster, the authors present an assessment of conservation risk for ecoregions and major habitat types in the lower 48 United States, using a metric we call the Ecological Conservation Risk Index. Although the assessment covers only terrestrial areas in the conterminous U.S., it advances upon other assessments of ecosystem risk by incorporating a measure of vegetation condition that covers all vegetated lands in the study area.