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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
1 Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #3140, New East Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA 2 Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #3275, 3301 Venable Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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 (CC BY 3.0).

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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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