Regional Assessments


Regional Assessments: Phase 2 of the Project

Detailed regional assessments bring the expertise of regional scientists to bear on an analysis of protected areas and climate change. Regional assessments are conducted by the SPARC regional lead scientist and an assembled team of top scientists throughout each region.

Within each regional assessment, loss of species and ecosystem representation are assessed for individual protected areas and opportunities to restore lost representation identified using methods consistent with the other regions. Although the entire region is analyzed, each regional assessment identifies 2-3 multi-country focal areas that 1) are especially important for conservation under climate change based on region-wide analysis; 2) have scope for adding protected areas; 3) have ongoing or imminent real-world protected areas planning or implementation.

Focal areas are modeled at finer resolution, use additional analytical methods and are engaged early in the project in an effort to ensure maximum uptake of SPARC results in protected areas decision making.



Principal Investigators: Pablo Marquet — Catholic University of Chile; Brian Enquist — University of Arizona

Kickoff Meeting: September 25-27, 2017 — SARAS2 Institute, Bella Vista, Uruguay

Key Collaborators

  • Matias Arim — Universidad de La Republica Uruguay

  • Juan Armesto — Catholic University of Chile

  • Luca Bartesaghi — Director of National Protected Areas System Uruguay

  • Marlon Cobos — Ecuador/University of Kansas

  • Derek Corcoran — Catholic University of Chile

  • Bruno Coutinho — CI Brazil

  • Javier Fajardo — Universidad Mendez Pelayo, Spain

  • Sebastian Herzog — Asociacion Armonia, Bolivia

  • Pablo Imbach — CIAT, Vietnam

  • Rafael Loyola — Universidade Federal de Goias, Brazil

  • Enrique Martinez-Meyer — UNAM, Mexico

  • Javier Nori — Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina

  • Patricio Pliscoff — Catholic University of Chile

  • Mariana Vale — Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Janeth Lessman — Venezuela/Catholic University of Chile

  • Candida Vale — University of Porto

  • Angela Cuervo-Robayo — CONABIO, Mexico

Region Specific Challenges:

  • Uncertain GCM projections and therefore SDM outcomes for the Amazon

  • Significant gaps in understanding, such as species in protected areas away from coasts

  • Amazon, Andes and Atlantic forests dominate existing work

SPARC Sponsored Regional Projects:

  1. Bird SDM Validation (Sebastian Herzog)

  2. Mexico and Colombia All Taxa SDM Validation (Enriqe Martinez-Meyer; Angelica Cuervo; Javier Nori)

  3. Easter Chaco Data Compilation and Model Evaluation (Javier Nori)

  4. Comparison of SPARC Priority Results to Connectivity-Based Planning Approaches (Angela Cuervo-Robayo)

  5. Network Flow Development Using Irreplaceability Index and Biomass Models (Derek Corcoran – Chile; Steven Phillips)

  6. Northern Cerrado Data Compilation and Model Evaluation (Rafael Loyola – UFG Brazil)

  7. Vertebrate and Botanical Occurrence Data Compilation, Validation, and Management (Brian Maitner)

  8. Validation of Exposure Metrics to Climate Change (Patricio Pliscof)

  9. Expansion of Candida's Human Response to Climate Change Work in the Neotropics – Candida


Principal Investigators: Guy Midgley, Wendy Foden — Stellenbosch University; Jon Lovett — University of Leeds

Kickoff Meeting: September 11-12, 2017 — Fish Hoek, South Africa

Key Attendees:

  • Mpaphi Bonyongo — University of Botswana

  • Claire Davis — CSIR

  • Luthando Dziba — Conservation Services Director - SAN Parks 

  • Ben Freeman — Liberia/University of Kansas

  • Stephen Holness — Nelson Mandela National University

  • Japhet Kashaigili — Sokoine University of Agriculture

  • Alan Lee — University of Cape Town

  • Mervyn Lotter — Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks

  • Nicola Stevens — SAEON

  • Dewidine van der Colff — SANBI

  • Elias Nkiaka — Cameroon/Leeds

  • Daniel Olago — University of Nairobi

  • Sandra Zenda — Chinhoyi University of Technology

  • Geoffrey Sabiiti — Makerere University

  • Ian Rushworth — Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

  • Chevonne Reynolds — University of Cape Town

Region Specific Challenges:

  • Representing land use change and human responses to climate change

  • Intact megafauna distributions dictated more by available habitat and water access than niche model

  • Woody encroachment of savannah systems

  • Fences impact connectivity for large mammals

SPARC Sponsored Regional Projects:

  1. Protected Area Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity (Kevin Coldrey)

  2. SDM Validation (Wendy Foden  -- Stellenbosch University)

  3. SDM Model for Birds of Liberia and West Africa (Ben Freeman -- University of Kansas)

  4. Scenarios Planning Tool for Park Managers (Stephen Holness)

  5. Desktop Check on Plant SDM (Mervyn Lotter, Goeffrey Sabiiti)

  6. Resurvey Quiver Trees to Validate SDM (Wendy Foden, Guy Midgley)

  7. Impact of Human Response to Climate Change Assessment (Candida Vale)

  8. Decision Support Tool: Mpumalanga and Liberia (Ben Freeman, Mervyn Lotter)

  9. Africa-wide Ecohydrologic Modeling (Elias Nkiaka)

Asia Tropics

Principal Investigator: Richard Corlett — Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens

Kickoff Meeting: August 28-29, 2017 — Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

Key Collaborators:

  • Pinsak Suraswadi — Deputy Director General of the Department of Thailand National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

  • Songtham Suksawang — Director Thailand National Parks and Protected Areas Innovation Institute

  • Richard Chung Cheng Kong — FRIM, Malaysia

  • Tim Bonebrake — Hong Kong University

  • Robert Zomer — CGIAR

  • Enoka Kudavidanage — Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka

  • Mohammed Jashimuddin — University of Chittagong, Bangaledesh

  • Ghazala Shahabuddin — Centre for Ecology, Development and Research, New Delhi

  • Neils Raes — Naturalis/Leiden

  • Tim Utteridge — Kew

  • Ferry Slik — University Brunei

  • Nuon Vanna — Mekong River Commission

  • Kyle Tomlinson — XTBG

Region Specific Challenges:

  • Little remaining scope for additional protection

  • High population density

  • Incomplete geographic coverage of biological occurrence records

  • Low GCM skill in representing monsoons/changes in dry season length

  • Islands and isthmuses

SPARC Sponsored Regional Projects:

  1. Butterfly, Protected Areas, and Climate Change Assessment (Tim Bonebrake -- Hong Kong U)

  2. Botanical Record Geovalidation and Digitization (Neil Raes -- Naturalis/Leiden)

  3. Global Environmental Strata (GEnS) Analysis (Robert Zomer)

  4. Bird Assessment of Galliformes, Babblers, and Woodpeckers (Tomasso Savini-KMUTT)

  5. DGVM Assessment of Savannah Systems under Climate Change (Kyle Tomlinson – XTBG)