Rethinking the Endangered Species Act's Implementation on Private, Working Lands (2018-2019)

Evidence gap maps are emerging as conservation tools that synthesize existing scientific research in a creative way, in order to guide evidence-based decision-making and identify areas where more targeted research is needed. Gap maps also help identify studies that suggest linkages between particular interventions and outcomes (e.g., ecological, social) and can help identify and characterize contexts for understanding tradeoffs and synergies in conservation decision-making. In the rapidly developing field of ocean science and conservation, evidence gap maps can provide informed and data-based direction for scientific, philanthropic, government and nongovernment organizations as they decide how to invest limited resources.

In collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, this Bass Connections project developed an ocean evidence gap map with a subset of evidence gap maps on coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. The project’s interdisciplinary approach used natural and social science research to examine potential linkages between intervention (e.g., take limits, restoration) and both natural (e.g., fish abundance, ecosystem health and resilience) and social outcomes (e.g., income, well-being, degree of cooperative interactions).

The project team also assessed implications of the results of the ocean evidence gap map for World Wildlife Fund investments in ocean conservation and for research directions by Duke faculty and students. The team reviewed approaches to and methods for synthesizing literature, including gap maps; collaboratively developed the search terms and chose categorization of interventions and outcomes; and reviewed World Wildlife Fund interventions in the three focal habitats of coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses. 


Summer 2018 – Summer 2019

Team Outputs

Evidence Mapping: Investigating the Social and Ecological Impacts of Conservation in Mangrove Ecosystems (master’s project by Willa Brooks, Amy Manz and Colyer Woolston MEM ’19)

Rethinking the Endangered Species Act’s Implementation on Private, Working Lands (poster by Joshua Azza, Virginia Frediani, Julia Kemper, Emily Leung, Alexander Loomis, Charles Mize, Spencer Scheidt, presented at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

This Team in the News

Bonnie Joins Biden-Harris Administration in Climate Role at USDA

Building a Mangrove Map

Meet New Blogger Anne Littlewood

The Importance of Evidence in Environmental Conservation

Donor Support Spurs Interdisciplinary Research on Pressing Global Challenges

See related team, Ocean Evidence Gap Map and Synthesis (2019-2020).

People using map

Team Leaders

  • Robert Bonnie, Nicholas School of the Environment

/graduate Team Members

  • Bryan David, Master of Environmental Management, Water Resources Management
  • Virginia Frediani, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation
  • Emily Leung, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Forest Resource Management-MF
  • Alexander Loomis, Biology - PHD
  • Charles Mize, Forest Resource Management-MF, Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Economics/Policy
  • Spencer Scheidt, Public Int & Public Svce Law-C

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Joshua Azza, Biology (BS)
  • John Desan, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Julia Kemper , Environmental Sci/Policy (AB)