Restoring Native Vegetation in an Agricultural Landscape: Spatial Optimization for Woodland Birds


In heavily cleared agricultural landscapes, decline of biodiversity could be prevented by restoring native habitat. In this paper, we develop a spatially explicit bioeconomic model that optimizes ecological restoration of habitat for woodland-dependent birds in the Australian state of Victoria. Spatial optimization identifies strategies that would generate substantially greater environmental benefits than are likely to be achieved in current programs. Greater biodiversity outcomes can be expected where restoration is optimized across multiple species rather than just individual species, and if the program does not require an even distribution of restoration effort among farmers.