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Washington Connected Landscapes Project
Project Lead:Schuett-Hames, Joanne
Affiliation:Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife & Transportation
Funding Allocation:FY2012 $100,00; FY2011 $150,000; FY2010 $304,00
Part 1: Science Applications for Focused Resource Conservation—The ALI is an entity focused on implementing conservation actions. The WHCWG can complement their expertise by providing technical support and interpretation of connectivity modeling products. We will:
- Share results of the Columbia Plateau connectivity analysis broadly and freely.
- Deliver tailored connectivity products to the Arid Lands Initiative.
Part 2: Testing Assumptions of Model Predictions—Adaptive management will depend on understanding (1) whether we have accurately modeled habitat and habitat concentration areas1 (HCAs), and (2) how landscape characteristics influence the linkages between them. We will:
- Develop and evaluate a habitat model for sage-grouse.
- Validate habitat models of focal species tied to sage-steppe ecotypes.
- Validate the sage-grouse ecoregional connectivity model.
- Validate the mule deer ecoregional connectivity model.
- Determine the value of a focal species approach relative to a landscape integrity approach.
- Test a framework for evaluating corridor efficacy and establish a baseline.
Deliverables (due date):
- Columbia Plateau connectivity analysis products available online (1/13)
- High quality map products tailored to their needs available to the Arid Lands Initiative, and support in interpreting and using these products (1/13)
- Summary report titled “A Habitat Model for Greater Sage-Grouse in the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion” to be submitted for consideration for publication (3/14)
- Summary report/s detailing:current range for each jackrabbit species and verification of jackrabbit HCAs and current range, range contraction, and verification of the least chipmunk HCAs.
- Complete, spatially-explicit sampling design for future genetic validation studies of connectivity of four corridor-dwelling species (7/13)
- Summary report titled “Landscape Resistance and Patterns of Movement, Lek Persistence, and Gene Flow for Greater Sage-Grouse in the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion” to be submitted for consideration for publication (3/13)
- Summary reports entitled “Movement of mule deer in the Columbia Basin in relation to landscape resistance” and “Effects of landscape connectivity on genetic relatedness of mule deer in the Columbia Basin” to be submitted for publication (6/13)
- Summary report titled “Comparison of Focal Species and Landscape Integrity Models using Greater Sage-Grouse” to be submitted for consideration for publication (3/13)
- Manuscript in preparation for publication, assessing: the effectiveness of the corridor for maintaining genetic connectivity and results of landscape genetic or permeability analyses linking gene flow to landscape attributes (6/13)
- Conduct ecoregional connectivity analyses and publish results for the Columbia Plateau
- Incorporate climate change into statewide and ecoregional connectivity analyses
- Develop and share methods, protocols, and spatial analysis tools needed for climate and Columbia Plateau analyses
Deliverables (due date):
- Summary report of Columbia Plateau ecoregional analysis, including high quality map products and obtain feedback through two workshops with Arid Lands Initiative (completed)
- Establish Okanogan transboundary and ecoregional subgroups and establish geographical analysis boundary (completed)
- Reports and searchable map layers for Columbia Plateau analysis on web (completed)
- Enhanced linkage modeling products (choke points, restoration opportunities, centrality) and four presentations to diverse stakeholder groups (completed)
- Release online report, searchable map layers, and decision support for: Statewide climate refugia linkage analysis (6/12) and Columbia Plateau ecoregional climate refugia linkage analysis (completed)
- Integrate downscaled climate projections into climate refugia analysis (completed)
- Complete statewide and ecoregional connectivity analyses and publish results
- Identify linkages most likely to sustain connectivity and facilitate species movements under climate change
- Develop and share methods, protocols and spatial analysis tools for connectivity prioritization
Deliverables (due date):
- Summary report of statewide analysis, including high quality map products (completed)
- Summary report of Columbia Plateau ecoregional analysis, including high quality map products (completed)
- Reports and searchable map layers for statewide and ecoregional analyses on web and six presentations to diverse stakeholder groups (completed)
- Updated statewide connectivity products identifying priority connectivity areas in light of climate change (completed)
- “Climate-smart” Columbia Plateau connectivity analysis, and associated decision support framework (completed)
- Reports and searchable map layers for “climate-smart” analyses on web (completed)
- Updated statewide connectivity products identifying priority connectivity areas for species shifts in response to climate change (completed)
- Adaptive management protocols to inform future “climate-smart” connectivity planning (completed)
- Spatial analysis decision support tools: At least 4 conference and workshop presentations, and four publications in peer-reviewed journals (completed)
- First release of spatial analysis toolset with user guide to implement our analysis methods in other regions (ongoing releases and support anticipated) (completed)
- Climate-smart tools and protocols; four conference and workshop presentations, and four publications in peer-reviewed journals (completed)