Start Date

5-2-2018 11:40 AM

End Date

5-2-2018 11:50 AM

Abstract

Habitat fragmentation is a serious threat to maintaining biodiversity particularly in urbanizing areas. Methods exist to model habitat connectivity, however many of these are applied at large scales and rely on data that may be a decade or older, resulting in inaccuracies when compared to on the ground conditions, particularly in dynamic urban systems that experience rapid change. These issues make taking action to preserve or enhance these connectivity zones difficult, if not impossible. The Metro Regional Habitat Connectivity Toolkit approaches this problem by combining GIS analysis with on the ground assessments at realistic scales for land acquisition, restoration projects and/or barrier mitigation. We employed a surrogate species approach to address connectivity needs in a way that incorporates empirical data. Local information and research was combined with other habitat attributes to focus development of field assessments for habitat quality and barrier permeability. The field assessments allow technicians to verify GIS data, identify barriers and record habitat attributes in a way that is comparable across multiple habitat connectivity zones and for multiple species. Once assessments are concluded the resulting information is used to generate two species specific scores for habitat quality and barrier permeability. These scores identify where on the landscape restoration and/or land acquisitions would provide the most connectivity benefit vs areas where mitigation for barriers such as wildlife passages structures across roads are the priority. This toolkit is in the final stages of development and is currently being testing in pilot areas in the Portland Metro region.

Subjects

Animal ecology, Conservation biology, GIS / modeling, Habitat assessment, Land/watershed management, Transportation, Wildlife biology

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/25639

Share

COinS
 
Feb 5th, 11:40 AM Feb 5th, 11:50 AM

Metro Habitat Connectivity Toolkit: Bringing Connectivity to an Actionable Scale

Habitat fragmentation is a serious threat to maintaining biodiversity particularly in urbanizing areas. Methods exist to model habitat connectivity, however many of these are applied at large scales and rely on data that may be a decade or older, resulting in inaccuracies when compared to on the ground conditions, particularly in dynamic urban systems that experience rapid change. These issues make taking action to preserve or enhance these connectivity zones difficult, if not impossible. The Metro Regional Habitat Connectivity Toolkit approaches this problem by combining GIS analysis with on the ground assessments at realistic scales for land acquisition, restoration projects and/or barrier mitigation. We employed a surrogate species approach to address connectivity needs in a way that incorporates empirical data. Local information and research was combined with other habitat attributes to focus development of field assessments for habitat quality and barrier permeability. The field assessments allow technicians to verify GIS data, identify barriers and record habitat attributes in a way that is comparable across multiple habitat connectivity zones and for multiple species. Once assessments are concluded the resulting information is used to generate two species specific scores for habitat quality and barrier permeability. These scores identify where on the landscape restoration and/or land acquisitions would provide the most connectivity benefit vs areas where mitigation for barriers such as wildlife passages structures across roads are the priority. This toolkit is in the final stages of development and is currently being testing in pilot areas in the Portland Metro region.