Private land manager capacity to conserve threatened communities under climate change

CSRM Contributors:

Other Contributors:

  • C.M. Raymond
  • M. Lockwood
  • O. Carter
  • R.M.B. Harris
  • L. Gilfedder

Published by: Journal of Environmental Management

Major global changes in vegetation community distributions and ecosystem processes are expected as a result of climate change. In agricultural regions with a redominance of private land, biodiversity outcomes will depend on the adaptive capacity of individual land managers, as well as their willingness to engage with conservation programs and actions. Understanding adaptive capacity of landholders is critical for assessing future prospects for biodiversity conservation in privately owned agricultural landscapes globally, given projected climate change. This paper is the first to develop and apply a set of statistical methods (correlation and bionomial regression analyses) for combining social data on land manager adaptive capacity and factors associated with conservation program participation with biophysical data describing the current and projected-future distribution of climate suitable for vegetation communities. We apply these methods to the Tasmanian Midlands region of Tasmania, Australia and discuss the implications of the modelled results on conservation program strategy design in other contexts.We find that the integrated results can be used by environmental management organisations to design community engagement programs, and to tailor their messages to land managers with different capacity types and information behaviours. We encourage environmental agencies to target high capacity land managers by diffusing climate change and grassland management information through well respected conservation NGOs and farm system groups, and engage low capacity land managers via formalized mentoring programs.