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J.2-4: Using waterfowl ecology and economics to estimate return on conservation investments in prairie Canada

Presented by James H. Devries - Email: j_devries@ducks.ca

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has been delivering wetland and waterfowl conservation programs that protect and restore wetland and upland habitats for over 80 years. Historically, DUCs conservation programs in prairie Canada were guided by decision support systems based on waterfowl population density and conservation impact on waterfowl abundance and/or productivity. However, efficiencies considering the spatial variation in conservation costs, program delivery options, and waterfowl outcomes across prairie Canada were lacking. Thus, to improve efficiency in conservation program delivery and outcomes, we incorporated economic principles such as opportunity cost and time value of money (TVM) with spatially varying costs of business, and waterfowl response to conservation actions, in a GIS-based planning environment. We use landscape composition, land value, interest rates, wetland and upland program delivery costs, risk of loss, and waterfowl response, to map the cost per incremental gain in waterfowl production. This model enables us to compare conservation delivery options across different geographies and facilitates efficient delivery of conservation with the highest return on investment.
Session: Conservation & Planning (Friday, August 30, 13:20 to 15:00)