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CONSERV is a landscape simulation model designed to evaluate the long-term efficacy of reserves. A reserve is "an area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of the natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means" (IUCN 1994). More specifically, CONSERV was designed for the following purposes:

  • Simulate forest fire and patch dynamics at large spatial extents in the boreal forest.
  • Simulate species' suitable habitat at large spatial extents in the boreal forest.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of multiple, competing reserve network designs for the boreal forest.
  • Identify and evaluate candidate minimum dynamic reserves.

CONSERV was developed using Visual Basic 6 and is based on previous simulation models derived to explore boreal forest and species dynamics under different management scenarios (FEENIX). To date, CONSERV has been parameterized for the northwest region of the Northwest Territories and southwest Yukon Territory. CONSERV is presently being re-written in C# .NET framework with an improved user interface and new capabilities. The new version of CONSERV will be ready in the spring of 2011.

Download CONSERV manual

The primary reference for CONSERV is:

Leroux, S.J., F.K.A. Schmiegelow, S.G. Cumming, R.B. Lessard, and J. Nagy. 2007. Accounting for system dynamics in reserve design. Ecological Applications, 17:1954-1966. (email for PDF)

Other publications and theses where CONSERV has been described and used:

Anderson, L.G.G. 2009. Quantitative methods for identifying ecological benchmarks in Canada’s Boreal forest. M.Sc. thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. 111pp. (email for PDF)

Leroux, S.J., F.K.A. Schmiegelow, R.B. Lessard, and S.G. Cumming. 2007. Minimum dynamic reserves: A framework for determining reserve size in ecosystems structured by large disturbances. Biological Conservation 138:464-473. (email for PDF)

Leroux. S. 2006. Incorporating natural disturbance and heritage sites in protected areas design. M.Sc. thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. 102pp. (email for PDF)


IUCN (1994). Guidelines for Protected Area Management Categories. CNPPA with the assistance of WCMC. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x + 261pp.



Feb 14 2018
Northwest Boreal Benchmark Analysis Released

Nov 20 2017
BEACONs' Webinar Tuesday Nov 28

Jul 24 2017
BEACONs' Website - New content coming soon!

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