Conserving Whole Systems requires a level of information and innovation far beyond our traditional capacity. Ecological data must be consistent and comprehensive across many states, and rigorous in detail and accuracy. Powerful analytical tools are needed to process information, reveal patterns, and create the understanding that informs how we do conservation. A rich information base allows the Conservancy to stay nimble, because inevitably new science questions arise as we implement the strategies and solutions necessary to sustain diversity at whole system scales.
The goal of the Conservancy’s Eastern Conservation Program, working collaboratively with the states, is to create a strong science foundation for Whole System conservation.
Why Eastern Division Conservation Science?
The Eastern Conservation Science team was formed to address regional scale conservation questions, beyond the scope of individual states. Answering questions at this scale, such as – what habitats are in the region, what condition are they in, how many have been lost, and which examples should we protect? - requires solid consistent data. A commitment to data has led us to compile hundreds of high quality state-based data and combine them it into seamless regional datasets. Over decades, we have built up a large library of datasets and reports, and we are sharing this information to help others understand and evaluate the natural diversity of Eastern North America.
Our data and reports focus on major conservation themes:
These assessments identify a portfolio of sites which if protected would conserve the full diversity of natural communities and rare species in an ecoregion.
These assessments identify places that will likely retain natural diversity and ecological functions longer in a changing climate (i.e. be more resilient to climate change).
These maps describe the 120 major types of terrestrial and aquatic habitats found in the region, and map their locations across the whole region. The maps and datasets show the distribution of each habitat and individual guides describe their ecology, conservation, associated species and current condition.
The State of Nature:
We collect data on human uses of nature such as dam locations, housing pressure, fishing effort, road networks, land uses, energy development, and conservation lands. Combining this with ecological information allows users to understand the condition of our natural resources.
In the course of our work, we create many high-quality regional datasets related to the ecology of the region, which include landforms, geology, climate, lakes and streams.
This website is organized around ecological realms:
Terrestrial: Information on land habitats and the plants and animals that inhabit them, from upland mountains, barrens and forests, to bogs, swamps and marshes.
Information on streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and floodplain habitats, and the fish and mussels that depend on them.
Marine: Information on seafloor habitats, eel grass estuaries, coastal shorelines, shellfish, cetaceans, shellfish, ground fish, and more.
We hope you discover content and tools here that help you with your own interests. Please contact us if you have questions or need more information.