April 2017 Newsletter: Virgin Islanders Work on Shared Objectives



Virgin Islanders Work on Shared Objectives & More!

View this email in your browser

¡Para la version en español haga clic aquí!

Inside this Issue:

  • Virgin Islanders Work on Shared Objectives
  • Video from the Field: Cay Habitat Vulnerability Assessment Sneak Peak
  • Landscape Conservation in Local News
  • New Bird Monitors in the CLCC Secondary Pilot Delivery Watershed
  • New Datasets and Case Studies on the CLCC Conservation Planning Atlas
  • LCC Network Releases One Year Progress Report on Accomplishing Recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences
  • Partner Spotlight: Sierra Club Puerto Rico Assists with PA-CAT Photo Challenge

Feature Photo: Land-Seascape View During Break from VI Stakeholder Sessions on St. Thomas. Source: University of the Virgin Islands.

Chairman’s Message

Pedro Rios, Ecosystem Management and Planning Team Leader, El Yunque National Forest, U.S. Forest Service

Welcome to the Cooperative’s newsletter! This issue highlights the great work accomplished by our conservation partners. We are very proud of recent accomplishments, such as the Cay Systems Conservation Action Team supporting the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment process for seabird restoration funding in the Caribbean, the updated map and inventory of protected areas in Puerto Rico by the Protected Areas Conservation Action Team, the two demonstration projects the Dune-CAT is developing with the Knights of Columbus and the San Juan Bay Estuary Program showcasing dune restoration and stabilization using vegetation, as well as the ongoing work by the dynamical downscaling research team (a partnership with multiple partners led by the Southeast Climate Science Center) to coproduce climate data and communications for the region.

As new Steering Committee Chair, I take this opportunity to share some of our 2017 strategies. During the last three months, we have been working with CLCC Staff and the Steering Committee’s Executive Team to set our business course and define priorities. In particular, we intend to start implementing collaborative actions in the Rio Grande de Arecibo Delivery Watershed by mid-summer. This is an area in which new CATs and partnerships will emerge and we need your help. Our BIG goal is create value for the social, economic and ecological resources of the area.

The CLCC Staff and myself are committed to “Nurture the Relationship Loop” by investing in relationships, both to get work done and to do it in a way that improves people’s lives. We want to get to know people (their values, history, needs, resources, etc.) as a core approach to shape our programs and do our work. Second, we will strive to “Find the Missing Middle” as we find new people to talk to and ask them what we’re missing in order to obtain fresh perspectives, learn what others know, and get beyond polarized conversation. Reaching and serving more of our public creates opportunity for solutions that draws more people into conservation.

Thanks for this valuable opportunity to serve, feel free to contact me at 787-549-0080 or prios@fs.fed.us

Virgin Islanders Work on Shared Objectives
CLCC Partners with USVI Wildlife Action Plan Team

By Kasey R. Jacobs, Partnership & Communications Coordinator

Goals to maximize available resources and align conservation missions inspired a new partnership. CLCC Staff joined the University of the Virgin Islands team leading the development of the Territory’s Wildlife Action Plan to conduct two stakeholder sessions, one on St. Thomas and one on St. Croix in early 2017. During these sessions, participants prioritized threats, reviewed the VI species of concern, aligned and ranked objectives, and envisioned the land and seascapes of the future.

The VI Wildlife Action Plan is a congressionally-mandated action plan for the conservation of terrestrial and marine wildlife species and habitats. The plan is in the process of being revised from the 2005 version. The VI Department of Planning and Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Division contracted Dr. Renata Platenberg, Professor and Researcher at the University of the Virgin Islands, to lead the revision. Dr. Platenberg is also an active member and thought leader in the CLCC’s Offshore Cay Systems Conservation Action Team and envisioned the partnership with Dr. Brent Murry, CLCC Science Coordinator.

To frame the visioning exercises that were part of these stakeholder sessions, the CLCC-UVI team presented draft objectives hierarchies for human well-being and public satisfaction, ecological integrity, and historical and cultural preservation. Participants than deliberated in small groups to add to, eliminate, or revise elements of the drafts. St. Thomas and St. John stakeholders participated at the February 17th session at the UVI Campus on St. Thomas and Crucian stakeholder participated at the March 2nd session at The Nature Conservancy’s Little Princess Estate.

A reporter with the St. Croix Source attended the March 2nd session and reported the following: “Leading the afternoon session, Brent Murry asked attendees to come up with how they envisioned the landscape – natural and urban – on the islands in five or 10 years. He then asked if that vision is what people really wanted the landscape to look like. He said conservation groups are often good on high-level objectives but action needed to be taken at the ground level.”

CLCC staff will use the new drafts coming out of the stakeholder sessions with stakeholders in Puerto Rico before working with the Steering Committee to finalize. These efforts are part of the development and implementation of a regional Landscape Conservation Design for Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. Visit our website to learn more about Landscape Conservation Design, why the Cooperative is using this methodology, and how we are focusing on Pilot Delivery Watersheds.

Video from the Field: Cay Habitat Vulnerability Assessment Sneak Peak

Video, Photos, and Report Credits: Hector Ruiz, HJR Reefscaping

The video was recorded during field work on Maria Langa Cay during an evaluation for a US FWS project on the vulnerability of offshore cays. In the video you see a male oystercatcher, part of a pair that the team has been following since 2014. In recent years they have been successful at making nests on the beach, hatching them and hatching both eggs. Past rat control efforts on this cay allows these oystercatchers to have such success. The researchers know that the one in the video is a male because of a mole on the iris of the eye as referenced in Guzzetti et al. 2008. Both the male and female in the pair help each other in the responsibilities of nesting and protecting the nest.

So you think you’re a birder? Take the CLCC Caribbean Seabird Quiz and test your knowledge!

Landscape Conservation in Local News

New Bird Monitors in CLCC Secondary Pilot Watershed

The Coalition for the Northeast Ecological Corridor installed two bird monitors on Sunday, December 19th, 2017. The Corridor is a nature reserve co-managed by the Coalition and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. it is located on the Northeast Coast of Puerto Rico, between the municipalities of Luquillo and Fajardo. The ARBIMON avian monitors are part of a five-year bird study done in conjunction with other activities for the Coalition’s Limit of Acceptable Change Study. Other indicators in the study to be measured include: quantity of trash, crab populations, number of sea-turtle nests.

The monitors were placed by Emilio Font, Professor at the University of Turabo and his students Vanessa Canino, Ed López, and Kenneth Torres. Through a CLCC partnership, the Coalition will receive two additional wildlife acoustic monitors, for a total of four bird monitors for the five-year study. The CLCC has an interest in the Northeast Ecological Corridor Nature Reserve since it is within one of the Pilot Delivery Watersheds (Rio Herrera – Cabezas de San Juan).

Photo Credit: Luis Villanueva-Cubero

New Datasets and Case Studies on the CLCC Conservation Planning Atlas


Last year the CLCC began a partnership with the Conservation Biology Institute to enhance the data discovery, visualization, and analytical platform for stakeholders throughout the Caribbean through the CLCC Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA). The CLCC continues to use the CLCC Data Center and Interactive Map for sharing spatial layers and climate data for the region but the CPA is meant for a broader audience. With the CLCC CPA, users can view, retrieve and perform analyses on geospatial data collected for specific conservation goals and priorities; search for spatial datasets; visualize CLCC-supported projects; and learn more about landscape scale conservation science and design in the region. Currently the CPA has galleries for our Conservation Action Teams, for Caribbean Long-Term Conservation Planning, one for the PA-CAT and another for the Cay Systems CAT that are open to the public.and more!

Have research or management questions that would benefit from spatial data? View, analyze, and download the datasets today!

LCC Network Releases One Year Progress Report on Accomplishing Recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences

When the Review of the LCC’s was released in December 2015, the LCC Network committeed to reporting on our progress in responding to the National Academy of Sciences’ recommendations. The LCC Network assembled a “Next Steps” team and drafted an Action Plan to set a trajectory of continual improvement. Implementation of the Action Plan is expected to take approximately two years, with many of the activities intended to be ongoing such as developing living documents and fostering ongoing, collaborative relationships.

The LCC Network produced this One Year Progress Report to assess completion of the recommendations, recognize accomplishments, and identify actions still to be performed with an estimated timeline.

Partner Spotlight: Sierra Club Puerto Rico

Sierra Club has led the effort to challenge nature enthusiasts in Puerto Rico to capture at least one photo from each of the protected areas in Puerto Rico by the end of 2017. This challenge to Sierra Club members and nature lovers came out of their work as a member of the CLCC’s Protected Areas Conservation Action Team. Each year the team disseminates an
updated inventory and map of protected areas. Sierra Club members and supporters were notified of the challenge via Sierra Club newsletters, social media, and personal contacts. To-date the PA-CAT has received 36 photos of 18 protected areas. The challenge is ongoing – if interested follow the instructions below to submit your photos to the Protected Areas Conservation Action Team! In particular, we are looking for photos of areas that have been declared as protected recently (Playa Grande El Paraíso, Dorado, Mar Chiquita, Manatí, Las Cucharillas, Cataño), but we want original photos of all the protected natural areas of Puerto Rico. A big applause to Sierra Club Puerto Rico for their contributions to the PA-CAT and to their talented photographers.


1. Send your photo via email:

– the photo should be sent to the email: portratos.anp@gmail.com

– the phrase ‘ANP photo’ must appear in the subject line of the e-mail

– Please copy and paste the following sentence into the body of your email:

a. Authorize the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CLCC) to utilize the sent photo en cyberportals or other digital and print media.
b. I declare that the photo is by me and that the content has not been altered after it was taken (e.g. Photoshopped)”.

– The use could be print or internet.

3. Please include the following information in your email:

  • Name of the author of the photo
  • Data in was taken
  • Name of the protected area shown in the photo
  • Municipality the photo was taken in
  • A brief description of the photo. If the photo emphasizes something in particular (an animal or geologic formation of interest), please describe that information

4. It is requested that the dimensions are 1024 x 768 or greater.

5. The minimum resolution required to guarantee a quality projection is 150 ppi.

6. It is requested that the format be JPEG or PNG


Need driving directions? Click here for the new map of protected natural areas of Puerto Rico.

The team has the goal to have at least one photo of each protected area by the end of the year 2017 when the next PA-CAT inventory and map will be published.

Resources, Publications and Reports

Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States (includes Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands). Dataset and report.

Ecological Resilience. New Paper.

Landscape Connectivity: A Call to Action. New report by World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Syngenta.

Protected Areas Conservation Action Team Technical Note

NOAA Digital Coast Describing the Ocean Economy of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

National Park Service New Manual of Coastal Adaptation Strategies

Scaling Up: Landscape-scale Conservation in North America: Special Theme issue of the journal of the George Wright Society explores the past and current practice of landscape-scale conservation through a diverse set of nine articles.

BioScience Article: In this article, a prominent group of agency scientists and conservation leaders call for a cohesive and coordinated national approach to habitat preservation in the United States: “The future of habitat and biodiversity conservation will rely on an unprecedented level of cooperation across private, local, state, tribal and federal agency boundaries.” Read a News Synopsis or access the Paper’s Abstract

New study draws on literature to document the potential of “landscape approaches” for improving land conservation and management. See the Study or read a News Synopsis

Globescapes, an interactive map, has been launched to showcase large landscape conservation efforts across globe. Explore the Map

National Academy of Sciences Review of the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.

USDA Caribbean Climate Hub Agricultural Vulnerability Assessment for Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands.

US Virgin Islands Report: Ecosystem-based Adaptation Guidance Promoting Resilient Coastal and Marine Communities.

US Virgin Islands Climate Products Factsheet

Quantifying key drivers of climate variability and change for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean by K.Hayhoe. Read the Report.

Downscaled Climate Projections for the Southeast United States: Evaluation and Use for Ecological Applications. Read the Report.

A Compendium of Conservation Organizations for the US Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico. Read the Report.

A Compendium of Conservation Organizations for the Insular Caribbean, Belize, Suriname, Guyana. Read the Report.

State of the Birds 2014 Report. Read the Report.


unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences