Posts Tagged ‘habitat fragmentation’

Trapped in the house with the wife and two dogs during this recent winter storm, I watched the twelve inches of snow blow across the yard into three foot high drifts. I even took a few pictures and posted them to Picasa, you can peruse them at your leisure here (http://bit.ly/K2xQQx).
What does this have to do with geography and GIS you ask? Glad you did, or were going to, or have been led to believe. The same processes that created the snow dunes and keep me from escaping, I mean, taking my wife out, I mean to the store, are the same processes that create the dunes we see in deserts and arid climates. In fact, the area around central Indiana was also created by the same eolian (wind driven) process as created the drifts in my yard. As the glaciers retreated from this area over 12,000 years ago, they left behind all the sediment they had scraped up along the way. The very lightest particles, the silts and clays, were then blown by the wind across the region, creating dunes which were covered with vegetation so that and all that is left behind are the gentle undulations and rolling countryside. So that is why snow dunes are worthy of a geography post. Now if you will excuse me, I hear the snow shovel calling my name again.

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I was honored to be able to present a poster at the 2013 Research Day held at IUPUI on April 5th. Being an undergrad it is an especially big honor. This event is hosted each year and showcases the research being done on campus. Everything from neuromolecular studies to using trash as an energy source to bobcat habit fragmentation. “Bobcat habitat fragmentation?” you ask raising one eyebrow. Why, yes, that happens to be what my poster was on, “Impact of the I-69 Corridor on Bobcat (Felis rufus) habitat in Southwestern Indiana” which looked at the further fragmentation of potential bobcat habitat in southern Indiana using a combination of remote sensing and GIS. I have attached the full sized poster to this blog for anyone interested. Below is the abstract from the poster, and as always, please feel free to comment.

“Habitat loss is known to be the main cause of the current global decline in biodiversity, and roads are thought to affect the persistence of many species by restricting movement between habitat patches” (Eigenbrod, Hecnar et al. 2008). This research looks at the impact of the I-69 corridor being built in southern Indiana on Bobcat habitat (Felis rufus) identified through the use of remote sensing and GIS. Bobcats are solitary animals that require steep, forested areas with plenty of cover for both themselves and the small mammals they prey upon. Identifying where Bobcats are likely is the first step in knowing the impact on their diversity in Southwestern Indiana. In this research we used the 2012 National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery for each of the 47 counties in this study, along with the 2005 IndianaMap Elevation Model (DEM) data, both obtained from the Indiana Geospatial Portal (gis.iu.edu). These were combined with the interstate and highway shapefiles from the IndianaMap website (indianamap.org), and then classified and assigned suitability values to highlight locations for Bobcats within the study area. The I-69 corridor shapefile was then added and buffered to show the impact the corridor will have on existing Bobcat habitat.

Bobcat habitat poster-final