Presentation @ CSTWS_CSEE Conference

Come see our work in action! Dee Patriquin is presenting on our Environmental Sensitivities mapping project for the City of Edmonton at the Joint Canadian Section of the Wildlife Society & Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution conference (May 7-11) in Victoria, British Columbia.

Dee is scheduled to give her talk “How did the chick(adee) cross the road? Mapping arboreal connectivity in urban landscapes” on Wednesday at 11:30. See the entire Schedule of Presentations here: )

How did the chick(adee) cross the road? Mapping arboreal connectivity in urban landscapes

Land managers in a variety of contexts are concerned with identifying connective habitat for conservation planning. CircuitScape has recently emerged as a versatile option for mapping connective habitat at a landscape scale, to identify locations requiring conservation management (e.g., alternative pathways, pinch points). As part of an urban conservation project, we applied CircuitScape in a city landscape, using coyote and chickadee as indicators of terrestrial and arboreal movement, respectively. The chickadee model, one of the first applications for urban arboreal movement, highlighted issues not previously reported for terrestrial species, including an island effect at the neighbourhood level due to road networks. Through further application in a smaller urban landscape, supported by winter surveys, we have identified habitat features that appear to enhance arboreal connectivity in the urban context, and the resulting distribution of chickadees. Songbirds and other arboreal species are often overlooked in planning urban conservation efforts, yet provide a valued, and easily accessible wildlife viewing opportunity for urban residents. Results of this study can assist urban planners and ecologists in planning future development, and in maintaining and restoring habitat in already developed urban areas. Our work also suggests areas of future study for urban ecologists relative to fragmentation effects and urban connectivity.