BioRisk 7: 99-116, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.7.1331
Riparian habitat assessment tool for Lebanese rivers (RiHAT): case study Ibrahim River
Maya Abboud, Jala Makhzoumi, C. Clubbe, R. Zurayk, S. Jury, S. N. Talhouk

Biodiversity conservation in Lebanon ought to be guided by practical assessment tools in order to promote conservation efforts amid destructive and profit driven urban and industrial expansion. The challenge for national conservation scientists, however, is to develop such tools while reconciling between scientific ‘rigor’ and pressing national realities. Those include rapid habitat loss, limited human and financial resources, and the fact that biodiversity is a low national priority compared to other social, political, and economic issues. It is in this context that we propose a rapid management strategy guide based on a habitat assessment tool for riparian ecosystems (which are typically threatened in Lebanon). The proposed riparian habitat assessment tool (RiHAT) consists of a habitat condition index based on twelve indicators grouped under two attributes, floristic and lndscape.