Strategic Biodiversity Map
In 2014, the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership developed its very first Geographic Information System (GIS)-based strategic map. Beyond including traditional conservation values, like habitat information for endangered species, the partners also brought a new piece into the puzzle: cutting-edge climate resiliency data created by The Nature Conservancy. With funding from the Open Space Insititute, the NQRLP spent a year creating a Strategic Biodiversity map that shows which areas are not only biodiverse today, but should remain biodiverse over time as the climate changes.
What is biodiversity and why is it important?
A place is biodiverse if it contains many different plant and animal species. Our lands provide many benefits such as food, medicine, timber, clean water, and flood control. To continue providing us these benefits, ecosystems depend on a variety of plants and animals, each fulfilling a unique role. As Aldo Leopold famously said, "to keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering."
For more information about why biodiversity is so important, check out the National Wildlife Federation's website.
Want to learn more about climate change?
An overview of the science behind climate change
Learn about the ways this organization is taking action on climate change
Read about the changes happening in New England.
How is NQRLP using the map?
We're using this map to think more broadly about the future of our landscape in the North Quabbin. This is another tool we can use to work with partners, like landowners, local open space committees, and regional land trusts, to develop new and meaningful conservation projects.
Interested in learning more about our map? Check our the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's March 2015 blog post about the Partnership.
What can I do?
You can take small steps in your life to make a big difference.
If you're a landowner, you can speak with your local conservation organization to discuss stewardship or conservation options. Controlling invasives, sustainably harvesting timber, and managing land for wildlife habitat are just a few steps landowners can take.
If you represent a town within our region, you can use this map as another tool in your decision-making processes. You can hold community events that focus on people's love of wildlife, community, and clean resources and touch on how these are being affected and will be affected due to climate change.