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Visions of Sustainability in Bioeconomy Research
Sustainability 2014, 6(3), 1250-1259; doi:10.3390/su6031250
Article

Moving Targets and Biodiversity Offsets for Endangered Species Habitat: Is Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat a Stock or Flow?

1,*  and 2
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
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Abstract

The US Fish and Wildlife Service will make an Endangered Species Act listing decision for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; “LPC”) in March 2014. Based on the findings of a single, Uzbek antelope study, conservation plans put forth for the LPC propose to modify and re-position habitat in the landscape through a series of temporary preservation/restoration efforts. We argue that for certain species, including the LPC, dynamic habitat offsets represent a dangerous re-interpretation of habitat provision and recovery programs, which have nearly-universally viewed ecosystem offsets (habitat, wetlands, streams, etc.) as “stocks” that accumulate characteristics over time. Any effort to create a program of temporary, moving habitat offsets must consider species’ (1) life history characteristics, (2) behavioral tendencies (e.g., avoidance of impacted areas, nesting/breeding site fidelity), and (3) habitat restoration characteristics, including long temporal lags in reoccupation. If misapplied, species recovery programs using temporary, moving habitat risk further population declines.
Keywords: endangered species; habitat offsets; environmental markets; dynamic habitat endangered species; habitat offsets; environmental markets; dynamic habitat
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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BenDor, T.K.; Woodruff, S. Moving Targets and Biodiversity Offsets for Endangered Species Habitat: Is Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat a Stock or Flow? Sustainability 2014, 6, 1250-1259.

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