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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Conservation Coordinator 

    Oak Woods Prairie

    An overarching priority of Southern Great Plains is conserving prairie grasslands. This helps migratory birds and wildlife that need large expanses of land to meet their life-cycle needs.
    Photo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department © 2006

Studying terrestrial connectivity in the South-Central United States

Formal Title: Terrestrial Connectivity across the South-Central United States: Implications for Sustainability of Wildlife Populations and Communities

Research Focus: Terrestrial connectivity

Conservation & Management Challenges:

Connectivity, or the extent to which a landscape facilitates or impedes the movement of organisms, is an important component of the sustainability of wildlife populations and communities. Habitat fragmentation, modification, and loss have been implicated in the decline of almost all threatened and endangered species, and both continued land-use change and climate change will have an effect on habitats. The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative needs more information related to habitat connectivity to support partners in their decision-making and conservation planning for the future.

Research Overview:

Developing this science is a priority for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative as well as the South Central Climate Science, which provided significant support for this research. The project involves using a comprehensive and systematic approach to evaluate habitat connectivity across the south-central United States. Computer modeling tools will predict patterns of connectivity for species with various habitat preferences, methods of habitat selection, and responses to areas between habitats. The project also involves evaluating the implications of predicted land-use change and climate change across the study area. The results of this project will include spatially explicit connectivity maps that can be used for making informed management decisions about terrestrial connectivity within this region.

Results:

Pending completion.

View the project listing on the South Central Climate Science Center project page.

Status:

This project was initiated in 2012. The U.S. Geological Survey’s South Central Climate Science Center is funding this project and it is being developed by Oklahoma State University in collaboration with the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

Contacts:

Principal Investigator: Kristen A. Baum, Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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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