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Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission originally identified strategic habitat conservation areas (SHCA) in the Commission report, “Closing the Gaps in Florida’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation System” (Cox et al. 1994).  The goal of the SHCAs is to identify the minimum amount of land needed in Florida to ensure long-term survival of key components to Florida’s biological diversity.  In 2006, the SHCAs underwent a significant revision based on a new suite of species, updated datasets, new datasets that did not exist when the original analysis was conducted, and improved analytical techniques including spatially explicit population viability analyses.  The SHCAs identify important remaining habitat conservation needs on private lands for 30 terrestrial vertebrates.

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Relevance to LandScope:

The Strategic Habitat Conservation Areas is a primary biodiversity data layer used for statewide and regional conservation planning in Florida.  The SHCAs inform the priorities of the Florida Forever conservation land acquisition program, and the Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project (CLIP).  This data layer indicates the potential presence of suitable habitat for one or more terrestrial vertebrate species that likely require this area in order to maintain viable populations.  The higher the priority, the rarer the species.

 

How to get more information:

A detailed description of development of the SHCAs is available at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute website.

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How to get the data layer:

Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Contact information is given at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute website.

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