Conservation Science and Measurement
Supporting collaborative citizen science
As habitats change, so do the connections between them. The Staying Connected Initiative works closely with conservation practitioners in each Linkage Area to determine the quality and quantity of landscape elements – habitat patches, natural vegetation, etc. – and evaluate whether conservation strategies are having a positive effect on landscape connectivity.
The science-based information and technical assistance provided by SCI helps communities and practitioners in the Linkage Areas develop effective programs and initiatives. As important, data and GIS analyses help to inspire multi-area, multi-town dialog that ensures connectivity in a larger context.
Conservation Science and Measurement Success Stories
- SCI scientists have conducted fine-scale identification of structural wildlife pathways in nearly all Linkage Areas. Using computer models, they determined the best routes between habitats and then validated that work via aerial photography and “ground truthing” methods.
- The SCI’s Measures and Evaluation Group (MEG) has developed a framework that considers land use, land cover, traffic volume, barriers and other factors to quantify the quality of connectivity. These simple, inexpensive, and repeatable GIS-based measures will help Linkage Area coordinators and community groups plan precise, comprehensive, and meaningful connectivity initiatives – and evaluate their effectiveness over time.