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Least-cost habitat linkages for American black bear, Rafinesque's big-eared bat, and timber rattlesnake.

Citation

Costanza, Jennifer et al. (2020), Least-cost habitat linkages for American black bear, Rafinesque's big-eared bat, and timber rattlesnake., Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z8w9ghx85

Abstract

This data set contains 3 shapefiles and associated files that map linkages, which are least-cost paths between adjacent habitat cores for three wildlife species in the Southeastern U.S. The species are: the American black bear (Ursus americanus), Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), and Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). We mapped habitat cores based on c. 2006 land cover, then used LinkageMapper software to identify least-cost paths between them, and buffered the least-cost paths by 2.5 km using ArcGIS, for a total width of 5 km. The buffered least-cost paths are the linkages provided here. The attribute tables for these shapefiles contain fields that describe the importance of each linkage to the overall habitat connectivity network, contemporary and future average modeled habitat suitability within the linkage, change in average proportion suitable, percent of urban land within the linkage, percent of linkage that is protected for conservation, and categorical values for climate threat, whether the linkage was designated as highly important, protection status, and future urbanization threat.

Methods

We mapped habitat cores based on c. 2006 land cover, then used LinkageMapper software to identify least-cost paths between them, and buffered the least-cost paths by 2.5 km using ArcGIS, for a total width of 5 km. The buffered least-cost paths are the linkages provided here. One input data set for defining habitat cores and mapping least cost paths was an ensemble habitat suitability model for each species. Those data are posted here: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.r7sqv9s8v

For more information about the purpose of the data and methods used to create them, see:
Costanza et al. Preserving connectivity under climate and land-use change: no one-size-fits-all approach for focal species in similar habitats, Biological Conservation.

Usage Notes

See details in the readme file, linkages_bear_bat_snake_readme.txt, accompanying this data set. See also the metadata file (.xml) associated with each of the shapefiles included here.

Funding

Department of Interior Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, US Geological Survey, Award: G12AC20503

Department of Interior Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, US Geological Survey, Award: G16AP00129