Map of South Atlantic Blueprint 2020, which will be used as an input to this year's Southeast Blueprint update.
South Atlantic Blueprint 2020 will be used as an input to this year's Southeast Blueprint update.

It’s almost October and that means an updated version of the Southeast Conservation Blueprint is coming soon!

Here’s what’s new for this year.

  • Big improvements to the inland part of the South Atlantic Blueprint - Improvements include better indicators, finer resolution, new methods for a more connected network of land and water, better cross-ecosystem integration, and better integration with other neighboring inputs into the Southeast Blueprint. Learn more and access the new data
  • Small update to the Middle Southeast Blueprint - First, the Federal Trust Species distributions used to calculate the Species Index increased from 358 to 956. Second, the Partnership layer was updated to include Priority Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) for Louisiana and Tennessee. Third, the Risk Index was simplified to a 3 class index from a 4 class index, and the classes were applied to 1-kilometer hexegon landscapes rather than 30-meter pixels to capture off-site habitat changes associated with urbanization. Finally, the Bar Code was re-ordered to more accurately reflect the values of partners. The priority order of the bar code is now Species-Habitat-Partners-Protection-Risk.
  • A prototype viewer for the Southeast Blueprint that will let you look underneath the priority areas to better understand why specific pixels are a priority.

Here are some things in the works for next year.

  • Improvements to the marine priorities in the South Atlantic and Florida Blueprints.
  • More improvements to the inland part of the South Atlantic Blueprint.
  • Improvements to the inland part of the Florida Blueprint.
  • Bigger improvements to the Middle Southeast Blueprint, including refining the Species Index by replacing range information with distribution models and adding the capability to use other species groups (e.g., Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need), and adding new and verifying existing habitat indices. If time allows, there may also be a new hubs and corridors layer and new cultural and/or socioeconomic indicators.
  • A finer resolution update for the Southern Appalachian part of the Blueprint.
  • Improvements in Nature’s Network (used in the Virginia and West Virginia part of the Southeast Blueprint).