Low modified regions
Only 30% of low modified ecoregions retain most of their natural lands (on average 83%), which are distant (~35 km away) from human settlements, agriculture, and other modified environments. These are vital regions where biodiversity and habitats are likely to remain intact and support regional-scale ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and water provisioning. Encouragingly, all biomes retain some low modified ecoregions, but four biomes (tropical dry broadleaf forests, mangroves, tropical coniferous forests, and grasslands) have only 1 to 3 low modified ecoregions that remain.
TNC works in low modified landscapes to set-aside large expanses of natural lands to protect species and habitats before they become lost and degraded by development. For example, within Mongolia’s Eastern Steppe, the world’s largest intact temperate grassland, TNC developed regional conservation plans that mapped important areas to avoid conversion from increasing mining exploration, which led to the designation of 158,000 km2 of new protected areas.