Addressing scientific & methodological challenges in connectivity conservation planning

A symposium at the IALE-NA 2020 meeting in Toronto May 12

Connectivity conservation has made great strides in recent years, gaining traction with the public and benefiting from the development of numerous user-friendly analytical tools. However, scientific and methodological challenges remain: movement data is available for only a limited number of species, model parameter estimation & validation are difficult, as is objectively weighing connectivity considerations against other conservation priorities. With land managers becoming increasingly interested in enabling connectivity conservation, the time is right for a special session that will bring practitioners and methodology innovators together to discuss the current state and future possibilities for connectivity conservation planning. The first part will feature case studies from Canada and the United States, highlighting both successes and limitations of existing methods. The second part will highlight work that may help address methodological & technical challenges associated with integrating connectivity considerations into planning processes. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion on priorities for future work on connectivity conservation planning methods.