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Designing conservation priority areas in Guyana

Authors: Nicholas Kotlinski*, The Field Museum of Natural History
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, South America, Environmental Science
Keywords: Guyana, South America, Rivers, Conservation, Protected Areas, GIS, Spatial Analysis, Modelling
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 11:50 AM / 1:05 PM
Room: Virtual Track 8
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Guyana has agreed to protect 17% of its territory by the year 2020 as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, freshwater ecosystems in particular continue to be at risk from expanding oil and mining frontiers, agriculture, and overfishing. Despite being among the most imperiled ecosystems world-wide, few conservation efforts have focused on prioritizing freshwater species and habitats. The Andes-Amazon team in the Field Museum’s Keller Science Action Center is working to evaluate both freshwater and terrestrial conservation priority areas throughout Guyana. Based on data from the IUCN, GBIF, and Field Museum collections, we modeled estimated distributions for over 900 aquatic and terrestrial species in Guyana, including, for the first time, over 250 fishes. Using conservation zoning software, we are working to delineate conservation priority areas for Guyana and make recommendations for the expansion of the National Protected Areas system.

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