Wildlife Corridors and Road Crossings

 

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The ability for wildlife to move across the landscape is critical for acquiring resources, finding mates, dispersal, and migration. As natural habitat is increasingly subjected to the effects of human-induced land use change, this ability is becoming compromised, negatively impacting many species. For these reasons, wildlife and conservation biologists have long promoted the identification and conservation of wildlife corridors connecting habitats and protected areas. My work on wildlife corridors has been multi-fold. I have identified corridors connecting populations throughout the ranges of species and identified priority corridor areas for maintaining the integrity of the connectivity networks. For validating the output of landscape-scale corridor models, I have developed methods for the rapid assessment of corridors across private lands. I am currently modeling road crossing locations for mountain lions, bobcats, and other species so that wildlife crossing structures may be built to facilitate the safe movement of individuals between populations.

I am also dedicated to examining the ways in which we model corridors. Currently, there are myriad methods for modeling connectivity and corridors and only limited information on how sensitive corridor outputs are to which methods are used. Furthermore, there is little information on the accuracy of these methods for different species. Therefore, I am currently conducting a methodological comparison of estimating connectivity and corridors.