Title

Integration of remote sensing, modeling, and field approaches for rangeland management and endangered species conservation in Central Asia

Date of Award

5-17-2018

Semester of Degree

May

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Major Professor

James P. Gibbs

Steering Committee Member

Giorgos Mountrakis

Steering Committee Member

Paul Hirsch

Steering Committee Member

Rodney Jackson

Steering Committee Member

Brian Underwood

Abstract

Integration of robust scientific approaches and on-the-ground conservation practice to “bridge the gap” between biologists and field managers is a perennial challenge in biodiversity conservation. In this thesis I present five, related case studies of integrating key scientific approaches (remote sensing techniques, habitat modeling and suitability analysis, and population modeling) with field practices to facilitate sustainable and locally accepted rangeland management, support conservation of snow leopard and Altai argali, and suggest options for tiger restoration in Central Asia. My synthesis of these case studies reveals that to advance regional long-term conservation initiatives, conservation science has to address relevant conservation problem directly, suggest solutions and recommendations that can be implemented by conservation managers given their capacity levels, fit into local knowledge systems as they pertain to the ecosystems under consideration, and focus on sharing lessons learned across projects.

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