The landscapes ecosystem team now has recommendations for revisions to your cooperative’s landscape indicators. The landscape indicators focus on connections across all terrestrial habitats. These changes are now open for comment until June 19th. You can either comment at the bottom of this post or email me directly (rua@southatlanticlcc.org)

Here are the proposed changes to the landscapes indicators:

Index of structural connectivity

Provides an indicator of how well natural habitat is connected in general without using species specific thresholds

Proposed change: None

View GIS layer

Index of functional connectivity

Provides an indicator of connectivity from the perspective of multiple species with different home range sizes and connectivity requirements

Proposed change: Remove this as an Indicator and consider adding it back in the future as more refined information is available. There is an existing project targeting this measure but results were not ready in time for this revision cycle. Functional and structural connectivity are expected to be highly correlated.

Acres of interior natural habitat in low road density areas

Provides an indicator of large patches of natural habitat

Proposed change: Change to a more easily modeled metric for large patches of natural habitat (“Acres in low road density areas” instead of “Acres of interior natural habitat”). Only paved roads are considered for this revised metric of low road density areas. Modeling interior natural habitat directly was extremely sensitive to GIS misclassification between natural and non-natural habitat classes.

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Acres of resilient biodiversity hotspots in natural condition

Provides an indicator of landscape condition for rare and range restricted organisms

Proposed change: Add the word “resilient” to clarify that these are places that are both biodiversity hotspots now and likely to be hotspots in the future in the face of future change (Climate, Urban growth, etc).

Learn more about the idea behind this metric

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Number of historic register sites without nearby development

Provides an indicator of historic sites that have maintained their historic surroundings of rural/natural land cover

Proposed change: None