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Published in: Environmental Management 6/2021

28-08-2021

Prioritizing Beneficial Management Practices for Species at Risk in Agricultural Lands

Authors: François Blouin, John F. Wilmshurst, Jeff Harder, Robin Bloom, David W. Johns, Paul Watson

Published in: Environmental Management | Issue 6/2021

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Abstract

Agricultural expansion and intensification are major drivers of ecosystem degradation and loss of biodiversity around the world. Countries are relying on protected areas to conserve habitats and prevent species decline, but these are either too few, too small, or too disconnected to capture and protect the needs of species at risk (SAR). Privately owned and managed lands and agricultural producers are increasingly needed to assist with habitat conservation and SAR recovery. Uptake of environmentally beneficial management practices (BMPs) by producers is often hindered by the lack of awareness of the needs of SAR and of the contribution they can make to their habitats, an actual or perceived negative economic and operational impact of the necessary management changes, the fear of losing management control over their land, and mistrust toward public agencies. We present an eight-step model framework that allows agricultural producers to privately determine the potential SAR occurring in a land parcel of interest and to identify and prioritize mutually compatible and outcome-oriented BMPs relevant to these species. In Alberta, Canada, the framework resulted in the development of a confidential self-served online extension tool tailored to a typical farm-level management unit, and to the geographical and ecological context of the operation. We provide a case study using a land parcel from the agricultural region of Alberta to illustrate the model and the associated tool. This novel approach can alleviate producers concerns, promote uptake of BMPs, and foster voluntary stewardship of SAR habitats on privately owned or managed lands.

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Appendix
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Metadata
Title
Prioritizing Beneficial Management Practices for Species at Risk in Agricultural Lands
Authors
François Blouin
John F. Wilmshurst
Jeff Harder
Robin Bloom
David W. Johns
Paul Watson
Publication date
28-08-2021
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Environmental Management / Issue 6/2021
Print ISSN: 0364-152X
Electronic ISSN: 1432-1009
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-021-01525-3