Paul Beier

Paul Beier
Center for Large Landscape Conservation

PhD

About

166
Publications
67,056
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
10,274
Citations
Introduction
I've specialized in science-based design of wildlife corridors & unabashed activism for conserving them on the ground. About 30 pubs on corridor design, animal movement, & estimation of resistance, plus 70 corridor designs that are being implemented in US, Bhutan, and elsewhere. My 2nd obsession is "conserving the stage” – prioritizing sites for conservation on the basis of their topographic and soil traits – as a coarse-filter climate-adaptation strategy.
Additional affiliations
May 1992 - present
Northern Arizona University
Position
  • Regents' Professor of Conservation Biology

Publications

Publications (166)
Article
Surrogates are used in conservation planning to select sites to represent species when information about species’ geographical distributions is insufficient. Many surrogates for biodiversity have used biotic (e.g., vegetation assemblages) or biogeographic distributions of a group of species (e.g., birds) that are easier to inventory than more crypt...
Article
Full-text available
Reintroduction—defined here as the return of a species to a part of its range where it has been extirpated—is a critical pathway to conservation in the 21st century. As late as the 1960s, jaguars (Panthera onca) inhabited an expansive region in the central mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, a habitat unique in all of ja...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation plans increasingly include goals to maintain a connected network. For example, planners might design a linkage between two conserved areas, or the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity might set targets for a well-connected system of protected areas for each nation. Here we describe 35 metrics that can quantify connectivity...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological corridors are one of the best, and possibly only viable, management tools to maintain biodiversity at large scales and to allow species, and ecological processes, to track climate change. This document has been assembled as a summary of the best available information about managing these systems. Our aim with this paper is to provide man...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eastern tarsiers (Tarsius tarsier complex) are small nocturnal primates endemic to Sulawesi Island and small adjacent islands of Indonesia. In 2004, the hybrid biogeography hypothesis predicted this species complex might contain 16 or more taxa, each corresponding to a region of endemism, based on: 1) geological evidence of the development of the a...
Article
Full-text available
To combat biodiversity loss, conservation planners prioritize sites with high complementarity (ability to represent all or most species in a few sites), but little work has been done to understand the traits that influence site complementarity. Here we focus on the drivers of rarity-weighted richness (RWR), a metric of site endemism that has previo...
Article
Recently, Bleich (2019) wrote a letter to the editor about a paper in which we modeled the population viability of mountain lions (Puma concolor) in isolated mountain ranges in southern California (Benson et al. 2019). Bleich (2019) expressed concern that some might misinterpret several statements made in our discussion about the role of mountain l...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid environmental change is driving the need for complex and comprehensive scientific information that supports policies aimed at managing natural resources through international treaties, platforms, and networks. Although the current essential variables frameworks account for the biosphere, atmosphere, and some aspects of the hydrosphere, they l...
Article
Full-text available
Connectivity conservation is an emergent approach to counteracting landscape fragmentation and enhancing resilience to climate change at local, national, and global scales. While policy that promotes connectivity is advancing, there has been no systematic, evidence-based study that assesses whether connectivity conservation plans (CCPs) resulted in...
Article
Extinction risk is elevated in small, isolated populations due to demographic and genetic interactions. Therefore, it is critical to model these processes realistically in population viability analyses (PVA) to inform local management and contribute to a greater understanding of mechanisms within the extinction vortex. We conducted PVA's for two sm...
Article
Full-text available
Article impact statement: A rule of thumb is that a conservation corridor should be at least 2 km wide to provide long‐term gene flow and recolonization.
Article
Full-text available
Conservation practitioners have long recognized ecological connectivity as a global priority for preserving biodiversity and ecosystem function. In the early years of conservation science, ecologists extended principles of island biogeography to assess connectivity based on source patch proximity and other metrics derived from binary maps of habita...
Article
Powerful innovations can occur when a concept is taken from one field and used to solve a problem in an unrelated field. In fact, it has been shown that as the distance between a problem solver's field of technical expertise and the focal field of a problem increase, so does the probability of success. This article is protected by copyright. All ri...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The goal of this Recovery Plan is to recover and delist the jaguar rangewide, with downlisting from endangered to threatened status as an intermediate goal. The following recovery objectives collectively describe the specific conditions under which the goals for recovery of the jaguar rangewide will be met. 1) Ascertain the status and conservati...
Article
The ability to respond to the challenges posed by climate change depends on the adaptive capacities of social and ecological systems. However, the term adaptive capacity is ill defined, and applications often ignore social dimensions. Furthermore, the dominant frameworks conceptualizing adaptive capacity terminate with a vulnerability assessment, w...
Article
Full-text available
The continuous p-median approach to environmental diversity (ED) is a reliable way to identify sites that efficiently represent species. A recently developed maximum dispersion (maxdisp) approach to ED is computationally simpler, does not require the user to reduce environmental space to two dimensions, and performed better than continuous p-median...
Article
Full-text available
ContextThe definition of the geospatial landscape is the underlying basis for species-habitat models, yet sensitivity of habitat use inference, predicted probability surfaces, and connectivity models to landscape definition has received little attention. Objectives We evaluated the sensitivity of resource selection and connectivity models to four l...
Article
Full-text available
Context Corridors are usually delineated as areas of minimum cumulative resistance to movement through a resistance surface and characterized by their effective distance (accumulated resistance along the least-cost path). The results of these assessments depend on resistance values, which are typically derived from the inverse of habitat suitabilit...
Article
Non-motorized human recreation may displace animals from otherwise suitable habitat; in addition, animals may alter their activity patterns to reduce (or increase) interactions with recreationists. We investigated how hiking, mountain biking, equestrians, and recreationists with domestic dogs affected habitat use and diel activity patterns of ten s...
Article
Full-text available
Non-motorized human recreation may displace animals from otherwise suitable habitat; in addition, animals may alter their activity patterns to reduce (or increase) interactions with recreationists. We investigated how hiking, mountain biking, equestrians, and recreationists with domestic dogs affected habitat use and diel activity patterns of ten s...
Article
Full-text available
Context Conservation corridors must facilitate long-distance dispersal movements to promote gene flow, prevent inbreeding, and allow animals to shift ranges with climate change. Least-cost models are used to identify areas that support long-distance movement. These models rely on estimates of landscape resistance, which are typically derived from h...
Article
Full-text available
Resource managers often need scientific information to match their decisions (typically short-term and local) to complex, long-term, large-scale challenges such as adaptation to climate change. In such situations, the most reliable route to actionable science is coproduction, whereby managers, policy makers, scientists, and other stakeholders first...
Article
Full-text available
Lack of biodiversity data is a major impediment to prioritizing sites for species representation. Because comprehensive species data are not available in any planning area, planners often use surrogates (such as vegetation communities, or mapped occurrences of a well-inventoried taxon) to prioritize sites. We propose and demonstrate the effectivene...
Article
Full-text available
The United States has achieved significant conservation goals to date, but the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem processes is accelerating. We evaluate opportunities and challenges to conserving our biodiversity by completing a national habitat conservation system, which could stem losses of natural resources and ecosystem services and proactively...
Article
Full-text available
Context GPS telemetry collars and their ability to acquire accurate and consistently frequent locations have increased the use of step selection functions (SSFs) and path selection functions (PathSFs) for studying animal movement and estimating resistance. However, previously published SSFs and PathSFs often do not accommodate multiple scales or mu...
Research
Full-text available
Downscaled complementarity has relatively low data acquisition costand meets representation goals well compared with other surrogates currentlyin use. Our study justifies additional tests to determine whether downscaledcomplementarity is an effective surrogate for other regions and taxa, and atspatial resolution finer than 10 9 10 km cells. Until suc...
Data
Table S1. Loadings (correlations) of environmental variables of the 6 first factors of the varimax‐rotated factor analysis, and percent of variance explained by each factor for 241 coarse (50 × 50 km) cells in Spain.
Article
Full-text available
Given species inventories of all sites in a planning area, integer programming or heuristic algorithms can prioritize sites in terms of the site's complementary value, that is, the ability of the site to complement (add unrepresented species to) other sites prioritized for conservation. The utility of these procedures is limited because distributio...
Article
Full-text available
The Iranian black bear (Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus; IBB) is a critically endangered subspecies. The IBB needs connectivity to access seasonally available foods and to provide gene flow among populations in the mountains of Kerman, Hormozgan, and Sistan and Baluchistan provinces of Iran. We identified IBB cores to be used as termini for modelled c...
Article
Full-text available
Species turnover or β diversity is a conceptually attractive surrogate for conservation planning. However, there has been only 1 attempt to determine how well sites selected to maximize β diversity represent species, and that test was done at a scale too coarse (2,500 km2 sites) to inform most conservation decisions. We used 8 plant datasets, 3 bir...
Article
Full-text available
1.Conservation biology faces the challenge of ensuring species persistence in increasingly modified landscapes. Agriculture covers a large proportion of the Earth's surface, but the degree to which crop production is compatible with species use of the landscape is still uncertain, particularly for woodland carnivores with large territories. Here we...
Article
In systematic conservation planning, species distribution data for all sites in a planning area are used to prioritize each site in terms of the site's importance toward meeting the goal of species representation. But comprehensive species data are not available in most planning areas and would be expensive to acquire. As a shortcut, ecologists use...
Article
Because conservation planners typically lack data on where species occur, environmental surrogates-including geophysical settings and climate types-have been used to prioritize sites within a planning area. We reviewed 622 evaluations of the effectiveness of abiotic surrogates in representing species in 19 study areas. Sites selected using abiotic...
Article
Full-text available
Geodiversity has been used as a surrogate for biodiversity when species locations are unknown, and this utility can be extended to situations where species locations are in flux. Recently, scientists have designed conservation networks that aim to explicitly represent the range of geophysical environments, identifying a network of physical stages t...
Article
Because many species have not been described and most species ranges have not been mapped, conservation planners often use surrogates for conservation planning, but evidence for surrogate effectiveness is weak. Surrogates are well-mapped features such as soil types, landforms, occurrences of an easily observed taxon (discrete surrogates), and well-...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This how-to-guide was written to help the staff of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Climate Science Centers and National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (CSCs and NCCWSC)— as well as the decision makers and resource managers with whom they work— effectively collaborate in developing scientific information that is useful and relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Here we report that prioritizing sites in order of rarity-weighted richness (RWR) is a simple, reliable way to identify sites that represent all species in the fewest number of sites (minimum set problem) or to identify sites that represent the largest number of species within a given number of sites (maximum coverage problem). We compared the numb...
Article
Full-text available
The third largest biodiversity hotspot of the world, Mesoamerican forests are declining due to human pressures. Based on species distribution models calibrated for 1224 native tree species in Mesoamerica, we identified high-value forest conservation areas (FCA) at the resolution of a 10 km × 10 km cells using the Zonation Reserve Selection software...
Article
Full-text available
Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through four case studies that span large spatial domain...
Article
AimA major challenge for the emerging discipline of conservation biogeography is to identify conservation areas and understand the factors and processes that govern the spatial distribution of those areas. We aimed to identify high-priority conservation cells (HPCC) – 1° cells that efficiently represent species – for amphibians, birds and mammals a...
Article
Full-text available
As species' geographic ranges and ecosystem functions are altered in response to climate change, there is a need to integrate biodiversity conservation approaches that promote natural adaptation into land use planning. Successful conservation will need to embrace multiple climate adaptation approaches, but to date they have not been conveyed in an...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Traditional occupancy models using presence/absence data require multiple observation periods for detection and presence probabilities to be estimable. When camera trap data is used, this requirement typically results in the creation of artificial time periods that may or may not make biological sense. We propose a sam...
Article
Full-text available
Dispersal is an inherently spatial process that can be affected by habitat conditions in sites encountered by dispersers. Understanding landscape resistance to dispersal is important in connectivity studies and reserve design, but most existing methods use resistance functions with cost parameters that are subjectively chosen by the investigator. W...
Article
Many studies have evaluated effectiveness of corridors by measuring species presence in and movement through small structural corridors. However, few studies have assessed whether these response variables are adequate for assessing whether the conservation goals of the corridors have been achieved or considered the costs or lag times involved in me...
Article
Full-text available
Estimating landscape resistance to animal movement is the foundation for connectivity modeling, and resource selection functions based on point data are commonly used to empirically estimate resistance. In this study, we used GPS data points acquired at 5-min intervals from radiocollared pumas in southern California to model context-dependent point...
Article
Landscape resistance reflects how difficult it is for genes to move across an area with particular attributes (e.g. land cover, slope). An increasingly popular approach to estimate resistance uses Mantel and partial Mantel tests or causal modelling to relate observed genetic distances to effective distances under alternative sets of resistance para...
Article
Full-text available
By conventional standards, modern wildlife science is a success, but our ability to convey complex technical matters to the public and other decision-makers could be more effective. Hunting in North America epitomizes these successes and shortcomings. The observations and samples from hunters support science, but there is a gap in understanding and...
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is to describe the state of the art in quantitative corridor and connectivity modelling. It reviews several critical issues in modelling, and provides expert guidance and examples to help practitioners implement effective programmes to preserve, enhance or create connectivity among wildlife populations. It first reviews the...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape connectivity is crucial for many ecological processes, including dispersal, gene flow, demographic rescue, and movement in response to climate change. As a result, governmental and non-governmental organizations are focusing efforts to map and conserve areas that facilitate movement to maintain population connectivity and promote climate...
Article
Full-text available
Using multiple detection methods can increase the number, kind, and distribution of individuals sampled, which may increase accuracy and precision and reduce cost of population abundance estimates. However, when variables influencing abundance are of interest, if individuals detected via different methods are influenced by the landscape differently...
Data
Estimates of covariates in best models for areas that were sampled with both hair traps (HT) and bear rubs (BR). These results are for a single spatial scale and do not cover the full study area. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Nina-Marie Lister, MCIP, RPP, is Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. She was the Professional Advisor to the ARC International Design Competition. Her teaching, published research, and p...