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Pelech, Lori

Master of Science in Environmental Conservation

Degrees held:

M.A. in Geography (with distinction), King’s College, University of London
B.A. in History, Skidmore College


Regional Synthesis Approach to State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) in the Northeast: A case study in strengthening species conservation initiatives through partnerships and across scales


Email: lpelech ‘at’

Office: GIS Lab, Holdsworth Hall

Mail: Lori Pelech
Department of Environmental Conservation
Holdsworth Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Web links:

Faculty Advisor:

Jack Finn

Project Abstract:

Successful conservation of an at-risk species depends upon adequate conservation of the habitats in which the species thrives. The State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) process utilizes data on distribution of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and the habitats in which they occur, in order to identify potential gaps in conservation needs and to prioritize new conservation initiatives.   While SWAPs are instrumental in guiding conservation goals, a state-by-state approach may be inadequate for species with populations spanning multiple state jurisdictions.  A recent initiative in the northeastern US is increasing the impact of SWAPs by approaching assessment and prioritization from a synergistic, regional perspective.  The regional SWAP synthesis is the culmination of a collaborative data-sharing and analysis effort of a subset of SGCN conducted by state fish and wildlife agencies, natural heritage programs and the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.  This paper explores the Northeast regional SWAP synthesis effort as a case study in a landscape scale species conservation approach that rolls up state and local knowledge to a regional scale in order to ultimately roll down the regional assessment of species condition for state/local planning purposes.

Page updated: October 8, 2013