This GIS dataset represents the distribution of mule deer habitat throughout the western United States. Mule deer habitat is divided into 6 separate GIS layers corresponding to 6 types of mule deer habitat: 1)limited range, 2) summer range, 3) other important habitat, 4) winter range, 5) winter concentration, and 6) year-round population. Information on mule deer limiting factors, adopted by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Mule Deer Working Group, associated with each habitat type is provided within the GIS datasets. Habitat delineations were identified through a Delphi process on a state-by-state basis and were subsequently tablet-digitized from 1:250,000 scale maps.
PROJECT NEED AND JUSTIFICATION:
Mule deer habitat extends across jurisdictional boundaries. In the past, there were no range-wide habitat maps available that identified the distribution of mule deer in North America, nor was there a database that identifies the factors that limit the quality of mule deer habitat. When the Mule Deer Working Group began planning for a Joint Venture Habitat Restoration Project, they found that the lack of this information made cross-jurisdiction project planning very difficult. They believed other planning projects have been stymied by the lack of this planning tool. They investigated methods to develop such databases and found that the previous project by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) was the most suitable model to pursue. This is particularly true given the commitment from RMEF to provide existing databases to this project at no cost to the MDWG. With this database in place, resource managers now have a tool that they can use to identify important mule deer habitats to maintain or enhance existing habitat values.
In keeping with the mission of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the M.A.P.™ (Measure and Prioritize) Elk Habitat Project was a cooperative effort, sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to produce comprehensive information about occupied North American elk habitat.
Elk winter and summer range, crucial winter and summer range, parturition, migration and other important habitat areas were mapped using expert opinion of wildlife biologists. The M.A.P. ™ Elk Habitat Project can provide resource managers from State and Federal Agencies, Tribal Nations, and other wildlife conservation and management interests with a current, efficient and simple GIS tool to assist with habitat management. Uses such as the development of conservation easements, land acquisition and exchange, conservation education and habitat management are a few examples of the long term and collective opportunities to address habitat conservation from the "big picture", mid-scale perspective. Cooperators in this project include State Wildlife Management Agencies, Federal Resource Management Agencies such as U.S.D.A., Forest Service and U.S.D.I., Bureau of Land Management, and Tribal Nations.
Wildlife linkage zones (travel/migration corridors) associated with Idaho state and federal highways across all of Idaho. Created using documentation collected from biologists and other experts during workshops and reveiw comments.
At the Northwest Scientific Association meeting last week, I attended an afternoon session that introduced me to a great online conservation project database, The Conservation Registry: http://www.conservationregistry.org/about. This website allows you to share and search for data, maps, and documentation related to conservation projects across the country.
From there website:
Did you know there is a plethera of FREE, that's right I said FREE, ArcGIS tools and toolboxes available for wildlife habitat and corridor modeling? Conveniently, many of these tools are listed on the CorridorDesign website:
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