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Testing the Validity of the Focal Species Approach to Conserve Biodiversity in Urban Landscapes
Gowans, Billie
The Greater Vancouver Region is an area of high species and habitat diversity, but also has a relatively high rate of human population growth and development. The goal of this research is to test the assumptions that the selected suite of focal species can in fact be useful 'indicators' of biodiversity in the urban, sub-urban and rural Greater Vancouver landscapes within which they are described. The proposed research will provide an opportunity to validate a critical approach to local conservation and contribute to a body of knowledge in similar systems. The specific research objectives are to: (1) Measure both presence/absence and/or relative abundance of the selected focal species and other observed species, (2) measure a variety of physical and biological parameters that are believed to reflect habitat quality, (3) determine the physical and biological characteristics that appear to be most associated with focal species abundance, (4) assess whether the selected focal species can act as indicators and (5) generate predictive GIS-based maps of priority habitat areas for focal species both prior to and after completion of field assessments.
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