Small and isolated habitat patches crucial to species survival — new study from Point Blue and partners

  • Small and isolated habitat areas are very important to the survival of many rare and endangered species

Point Blue Conservation Science  Read full ScienceDaily coverage here

Small, local patches of habitat could be playing a much bigger role in conserving biodiversity than you think, according to new research.

…Co-author Dr. Sam Veloz, Climate Adaptation Group Director at Point Blue Conservation Science, added “We have many existing processes in place to fund restoration or conservation activities that are largely focused on large patches of habitat. While it’s important to continue these efforts, our paper emphasizes that small but important habitat patches should be included in an overall conservation portfolio.

An example from the paper explored suitable habitat for four songbird species in California and Oregon (the streaked horned lark, savannah sparrow, Western meadowlark and the Oregon vesper sparrow). Research showed that highly fragmented parts of the study areas for each species contain habitat patches of very high conservation value. And the four species studied have ranges primarily in those small, isolated patches….

Brendan A. Wintle, Heini Kujala, Amy Whitehead, Alison Cameron, Sam Veloz, Aija Kukkala, Atte Moilanen, Ascelin Gordon, Pia E. Lentini, Natasha C. R. Cadenhead, and Sarah A. Bekessy. Global synthesis of conservation studies reveals the importance of small habitat patches for biodiversity. PNAS, 2018 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1813051115