Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
GIS Layer of Golden-Cheeked Warbler Habitat Model Completed
Southwest Region, April 30, 2008
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Three years ago, the Service funded a section 6 project to create a new GIS data layer for endangered golden-cheeked warbler habitat throughout the range in Texas.  We recieved the final product in February.  A steering committee of species experts was formed to decide which variables (for example, slope, percent canopy, and distance from an edge) were most important when determining golden-cheeked warbler habitat.  Based on different prioritizations of these variables, there were a total of 13 models run.  The model which patch size and edge density indirectly and also considers edge directly.  The model identified four levels of habitat quality from potential low quality,  potential moderatequality, and high quality habitat.  This model places more habitat within the highest quality rank, identifies slightly more habitat area, and therefore misses less actual golden-cheeked warbler habitat than the other models considered.

This model will assist in both consultations and recovery when we need to see an overview of where a project lies within the range and among neighboring habitat.  This GIS layer can also assist in focusing recovery in those areas with the largest contiguous patches of habitat and defining focal areas of recovery throughout the range.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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