South Atlantic LCC Third Thursday Web Forum

//South Atlantic LCC Third Thursday Web Forum
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March 17th, 2016: “Modeling terrestrial habitat connectivity priorities for the South Atlantic region” with Ron Sutherland, Wildlands Network

Improving habitat connectivity continues to be the most logical and well-supported method of promoting climate change adaptation by wildlife species. With support from the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Wildlands Network initiated a multi-year habitat connectivity modeling exercise in 2011. The project, which was conducted in collaboration with Clemson University (and which relied heavily on the Clemson University supercomputer to achieve 90-m spatial resolution across a broad buffer of the South Atlantic LCC region) aimed to identify priority wildlife corridors for seven species: black bears, red wolves, Florida panthers, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, timber rattlesnakes, pine snakes, and box turtles. Two different modeling approaches were taken (Circuitscape and Connectivity Analysis Toolkit), yielding a rich and complex picture of the current state of functional habitat connectivity in the South Atlantic LCC region. We also used projections of urbanization and sea level rise to predict future levels of habitat connectivity all the way out to 2100. In the webinar, we will present the final results from the project, highlight our key findings in terms of priority areas, and pinpoint future research needs.

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