Miss Ashlea Ostwald1
1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Environmental management operates to balance the rights and interests of stakeholders while protecting the environment from human impacts. This is particularly relevant in areas where ongoing or proposed development overlaps with the distribution of Threatened and migratory species. Spatial representations of the distribution of Threatened and migratory species overlaid with current and possible future pressures can identify areas that will be most threatened and which species are in need of conservation. Strategic foresight is a fundamental tool in environmental decision-making that can inform which actions to take and which to avoid, and the costs associated with each. We mapped Threatened and migratory marine species and pressures threatening these species in the North Marine Bioregion. We focused our work on 16 priority species at ‘Very High’ risk from various pressures. We first present an ongoing and proposed development map overlaid with species risk assessments to identify threat hotspots. We then present the potential impact of possible future scenarios using a strategic foresight approach. We demonstrate the utility of threat mapping in a broader scope of environmental decision-making contexts when tests are refined by species and account for multiple future scenarios.
Ashlea is currently undertaking Honours research with the Faculty of Geography and Environment at the University of Tasmania. Ashlea has undergraduate degrees in Biology and Law, and has a keen interest in conservation.