Scenario modeling for conservation management in the En Afeq Nature Reserve, Israel


Corresponding author; Fax +972 2 5374887; E-mail:


Abstract. Conservation management has significant gaps between (1) collection and storage of biological data, (2) data analysis, and (3) application of results. In order to improve management decision-making, it is necessary to bridge these gaps. One of the most promising approaches uses computer-based decision support systems (DSS): interactive models of the system in question—for example, a nature reserve. One kind of DSS is scenario modeling: spatially-based models which (1) use expert opinion and data on vegetation, geology, hydrology, and management, (2) to project changes in landscape through time, (3) on the basis of changes in driving environmental factors. Scenario models are essentially graphic hypotheses, predicting changes in landscape with a specified change in driving factors, which can then be verified or falsified by monitoring.

This paper presents an application of this approach to an Israeli nature reserve, the En Afeq Reserve in western Galilee. Our project tests the possibility of improving Israeli conservation management by using methods now standard for nature reserves in the Netherlands.