Making conservation research accessible to communities and decision makers is complex. We have defined three research areas that will help guide our conservation efforts and ensure our skills and expertise will have the greatest impact. Any given project or conservation effort we support may draw knowledge from any of the three research areas.
Ecological connectivity, the unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes, is essential to healthy landscapes. World-wide, ecological connectivity is increasingly fragmented and degraded by human infrastructure and activity, which can reduce or prevent the ability of wildlife to move freely through the landscape, risking localized extinction and population level health impacts. Further, humans rely on ecological connectivity to maintain natural processes that provide services such as clean air, clean water, and ability to adapt to a changing climate.
Biodiversity, or biological diversity, refers to the number, variety, and variability of living organisms in an area. A biodiverse landscape reflects a healthy ecosystem that supports natural processes human rely on such as food production, clean water, medicine, and clean air. Human activities, such as changes in land use (e.g. urbanization), over-exploitation, climate change, and pollution, cause alarming rates of biodiversity loss globally, reduce the ability of ecosystems to function properly, and impact economic, recreational, cultural and scientific opportunities.
Ecosystem-based Climate Adaptation
Miistakis prioritizes ecosystem-based climate adaptation as a strategy to maintain resilient, healthy landscapes in the face of a changing climate. Ecosystem-based climate adaptation refers to a variety of approaches that involve the conservation, sustainable management, and restoration of ecosystems, and is aimed at reducing the vulnerability of humans to climate change hazards. Examples of approaches include habitat restoration, wetland management, and sustainable forest management practices.