Marine Planning
Practical Approaches to Ocean and Coastal Decision-Making

Assessing Biodiversity

Venezuela Caribbean ecoregions. Click on image to enlarge.

A comprehensive regional assessment was conducted to evaluate the full spectrum of biodiversity in Venezuela’s Caribbean waters. The assessment identified areas of biological significance where conservation efforts have the greatest potential for success.

13 Ecoregions and 30 Conservation Targets

The area of study in this project consisted of 165,000 km² of coastal and marine ecosystems in the Venezuelan Caribbean. The region is divided into 13 ecoregions (see map) and 30 conservation targets that ranged from deep-water coral communities to sea turtle communities to mangrove forests.

Indicators and Conservation Goals

Golfete de Coro, Venezuelan Caribbean. Left, Bahia Amuay. Conservation goals ranged from 30 to 100% of the current distribution of each ecological and biological target. Photos © Eduardo Klein

Ecological and biological experts determined key attributes for each target including their existing condition (size, landscape context, viability), vulnerability, and rarity, which were then used in determining conservation status. Experts selected indicators to be used by energy companies for quantifying the status of each conservation target. Conservation goals for each target range from 30 to 100 percent of the geographic area.

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