Leveraging Satellite Data to Design Habitat Corridors in a Working Landscape

Project: Research project

Project Details


Migratory species are an urgent conservation priority in local, state, and federal policy, but tools for
implementing conservation plans that also sustain farmer livelihoods have yet to be developed.
Agricultural stakeholders are especially vulnerable to the impacts of policy be-cause agricultural
land is essential for many migratory species. The large spatial extent and required connectivity of
migratory corridors also present unique challenges for conservation planning. Existing modeling
approaches generally assume perpetual conservation, ignoring the potential for innovative policy
designs to exploit the seasonality of migration and com-pensate agricultural stakeholders for the
ecosystem services they provide through pop-up conservation mechanisms.
We propose developing models that incorporate new high-resolution spatial data on agri-cultural
land use and GPS data on species movements to inform the development of pop-up habitat
corridors in working landscapes. We will examine designs of past incentive programs, propose new
structures, and examine conditions under which these pop-up programs may be optimal with a
bioeconomic model. We will then use the best available data to develop a study-system specific
model of corridor planning for migratory elk in the Greater Yellow-stone Ecosystem. These steps
will contribute to USDAs goals of identifying conservation program design features that increase
environmental gain per program dollar; designing in-centive mechanisms to promote resource
conservation; and assessment of ecosystem services associated with conservation management
practices at various scales. Furthermore, we will estimate the value of information from USDA data
(CropScape, VegScape) for conserva-tion planning contributing to the programs priority of
developing novel approaches to data development to aid ecosystem service valuation.
Effective start/end date4/1/213/31/24


  • USDA: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA): $500,000.00


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