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Condition of the Northeast Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats: a geospatial analysis and tool set.

Mark G. Anderson, Melissa Clark, Charles Ferree, Alexandra Jospe, and Arlene Olivero Sheldon.

Partial funding for this project was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service.

The deliverables from this analysis include: a report, a database, and a geospatial tool. The report “Condition of the Northeast Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats: a geospatial analysis and tool kit” contains an analysis of 116 habitats with respect to 14 regionally assessed condition metrics. The GIS tool is designed to let users locate find places in the region that meet user-determined condition criteria. These deliverables can be downloaded from the box to the right of this page.

The goal of this project was to assess the condition of 116 terrestrial and aquatic habitats in the Northeast and provide tools for state agencies and conservation organizations to evaluate the condition of specific habitats within their state. The project is based on the newly released Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Map and the Northeast Aquatic Habitat Classification and their accompanying datasets, which allow for each habitat to be evaluated across its entire range in the region. Additionally, the project used newly released region-wide spatial datasets that illustrate a facet of the region’s ecological condition such as predicted loss to development, securement from development, forest stand age, and number of dams, as well as datasets developed specifically for this assessment such as habitat patch size and amount of core area.

The habitats were defined and mapped in the regional datasets. Additionally, for 109 of them, a description, photo, and distribution map of each habitat, along with information on its associated wildlife, rare species, relationship to state defined habitats, and information on its ecological condition may be found in the Northeast Habitat Guides. These profiles of each habitat are essential for understanding the condition information presented in this report.

This report has two major sections:
  • Condition Metrics: A description of 14 ecological condition metrics and comparative results of the metric as applied to the terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
  • Geospatial Units and Tools: a database and tool to query the region for habitats that meet specific criteria, or to evaluate a particular area for its habitats and condition attributes.

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