Fewer than 100 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) remain in the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE). Despite recent protections afforded by state and federal listing decisions, they face a host of challenges to their survival. The landscape this population inhabits is a highly dynamic, shifting mosaic of forests at varying stages of regeneration, intermixed with areas disturbed by wildfire and timber harvest.
To sustain a viable population of lynx in our region into the future, we need up-to-date information to help guide and coordinate land management decisions in ways that support lynx habitat and habitat connectivity over time. For example, when wildfire occurs, we need rapid monitoring to assess the magnitude of habitat loss and fragmentation, and, if conditions warrant, rapid updates to land-use plans that account for the impacts of the fire and alternative ways to support the population. Because small local populations like the one that inhabits Washington’s Lynx Management Unit need to be connected to other regional populations in order to persist over time, land management decisions affecting lynx need to be coordinated at a regional scale to be most effective.
This project is developing and will deliver TerrAdapt, a spatial planning tool that will revolutionize conservation planning by automating the spatial analysis steps required for habitat and connectivity modeling for lynx and other at-risk species. These automated processes are linked to dynamic data sources and run on an annual schedule, so that each year, new models are produced reflecting current conditions. This approach is cost-effective, provides managers with up-to-date information, and generates a time series that can be used to monitor trends in habitat and connectivity, quantify the impacts of disturbances such as wildfire and timber harvest, and assess the effectiveness of habitat management practices and recovery efforts.
If you are interested in supporting this project please use the form to the right to submit an inquiry.