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Optimal design of compact and functionally contiguous conservation management areas

Hayri Onal (), Yicheng Wang, Sahan Dissanayake and James D. Westervelt

European Journal of Operational Research, 2016, vol. 251, issue 3, 957-968

Abstract: Compactness and landscape connectivity are essential properties for effective functioning of conservation reserves. In this article we introduce a linear integer programming model to determine optimal configuration of a conservation reserve with such properties. Connectivity can be defined either as structural (physical) connectivity or functional connectivity; the model developed here addresses both properties. We apply the model to identify the optimal conservation management areas for protection of Gopher Tortoise (GT) in a military installation, Ft. Benning, Georgia, which serves as a safe refuge for this ‘at risk’ species. The recent expansion in the military mission of the installation increases the pressure on scarce GT habitat areas, which requires moving some of the existent populations in those areas to suitably chosen new conservation management areas within the boundaries of the installation. Using the model, we find the most suitable and spatially coherent management areas outside the heavily used training areas.

Keywords: (D) OR in natural resources; Compactness; Landscape connectivity; Integer programming (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2015.12.005

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European Journal of Operational Research is currently edited by Roman Slowinski, Jesus Artalejo, Jean-Charles. Billaut, Robert Dyson and Lorenzo Peccati

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:251:y:2016:i:3:p:957-968