Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

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    Northern Bobwhite - TWPD

    The northern bobwhite is an iconic species of the Southern Great Plains. It ranges throughout the eastern and Midwestern U.S. and eastern Mexico, but has declined by as much as 90 percent in some areas.
    Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006

Assessing habitat fragmentation in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas

Formal Title: Application of a Terrestrial Landscape Fragmentation Framework to the South-Central United States

Research Focus: Habitat fragmentation

Conservation & Management Challenges:

Habitat fragmentation is of particular significance to species that migrate or use extensive land and water areas throughout their life cycle, such as the lesser prairie chicken. Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners need more information about the ways various forms of land development are affecting habitat connectivity for several LCC focal species, such as the northern bobwhite.

Research Overview:

Developing this science is a priority for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Staff of the Gulf Coast Prairie LCC are evaluating methods for measuring how urban, rural, and energy-related development has affected habitat connectivity in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. A fragmentation analysis of Oklahoma has been expanded to Louisiana and Texas, creating maps that identify relatively intact areas of the landscape. These maps will help partners focus on the most important areas to conserve and restore to support self-sustaining wildlife populations. Future analysis will be conducted to identify the fragmentation of specific habitat types as well as estimate future fragmentation due to urbanization. A report will be produced to evaluate this fragmentation analysis with other similar analysis conducted in the western United States.

Results:

Pending completion.

Status:

This project was initiated in 2012. It is being developed by partners from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center on behalf of the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

Contacts:

Principal Investigator: Steve Hartley, U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Point-of-Contact: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506

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