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Olsson biologist co-authors paper on species distribution models in wildlife conservation planning

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chris Jorgensen, Environmental

Chris JorgensenChris Jorgensen, a biologist at Olsson Associates, co-authored a paper, titled Species Distribution Models in Wildlife Planning: Agricultural Policy and Wildlife Management in the Great Plains. The paper was the result of a collaborative study among scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Nebraska, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The paper was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin in June.

The paper discusses the use of species distribution models, which illustrate how a species is distributed across a landscape based on the environment, to explore how changes in the landscape, as well as social and economic policies, can result in spatial shifts to species populations. 

Traditionally, species distribution models have played a significant role in species management and conservation design. These models can be used to strategically direct habitat management resources to areas best suited for a species of conservation concern. In the paper, the authors projected an existing species distribution model for ring-necked pheasants in Nebraska onto five alternative landscape scenarios to estimate the effects of policy decisions on pheasant populations. Results show species distribution models combined with landscape scenarios can aid decisions on future land management.

The abstract and article can be accessed here.

If you would like to know more, or have a modeling project we can help with, please contact Chris Jorgensen at cjorgensen@olssonassociates.com.

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