How are Wildlife/Habitat Connectivity Areas Being Identified in Arizona?
In 2006, the Arizona’s Wildlife Linkages Assessment was published, representing the results of a stakeholder workshop in which important potential wildlife linkage zones were identified. This report and associated GIS datasets, along with pertinent background information, are available through the ADOT web site. The report is intended to provide a starting point for detailed consultation and coordination among the organizations and agencies that have a major role to play in maintaining habitat conectivity. The Arizona’s Wildlife Linkages Assessment established the groundwork for the process behind the detailed linkage designs created by scientists at Northern Arizona University and the current County Stakeholder Wildlife Linkages Reports.
A subset of wildlife linkage zones identified in the 2006 report were further analyzed and developed into detailed modeled corridors based on suitability characteristics of the landscape. This methodology was developed by Northern Arizona University through funding provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Heritage Fund. Details on the methodology, final reports and GIS data, and a GIS toolbox are available through the www.corridordesign.org web site.
The goal of the county-level effort is to continue the work culminating in the 2006 Assessment by assembling current knowledge of wildlife linkages and barriers to wildlife movement while helping build collaborative partnerships with local jurisdictions for implmentation efforts. The first component is a county report and associated GIS data that is intended to identify wildlife linkages at a finer scale that may have been overlooked in the 2006 assessment and that will be useful for regional and local planning efforts.
In order to accomplish this, stakeholder workshops are held in each county in which a diverse range of participants with an interest in maintaining habitat connectivity for wildlife share their knowledge and outline the general locations of wildlife linkages and barriers to wildlife movement on large maps.
These hand-drawn maps were digitized using geographic information system (GIS) software to produce the maps found in this report. Future project activities will include using the information in these reports to support the development of finer-scale, GIS-based wildlife corridor models using similar to the Arizona Missing Linkages. We anticipate that our selection of sites for fine-scale GIS corridor modeling and collaborative conservation efforts will evolve over time as Arizona’s developed landscape changes and our knowledge of wildlife habitat use and movement patterns grows. Additional analyses may also include a state-wide modeling approach that can be used to identify areas of concern at a landscape level and can help prioritize Department research and implementation efforts.
- Pima County
- Yuma County
- Cochise County
- Gila County
- Graham County
- Greenlee County
- Mohave County
- Santa Cruz County
Statewide Wildlife Connectivity Assessment