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A preliminary study on designing ecological corridors in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve with 3S techniques

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This paper is based on the fieldwork in Xishuangbanna Natioanl Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province of China. GPS data of Asian elephants were collected and analyzed with the remote sensing satellite photos of the region to estimate the landform physiognomy of different colors. We also analyzed a series of ecological factors including altitude, landform, relief, villages and roads which affected the distribution and movement of Asian elephants. The results suggested the possibility of designing and establishing corridors in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve to protect the population of wild elephants in the region.
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... Building ecological corridors by conserving existing landscape linkages or restoring habitat areas to function as connections between larger protected areas in Xishuangbanna is urgently needed. Due to land use change, the expansion of plantations and the human population, much attention had been paid to nature reserve management in this region and considerable progress is being made in conservation corridors in the past few years in Xishuangbanna (Feng & Zhang, 2005a;Lin et al., 2008). However, the anthropogenic factors especially in regards to road construction were underestimated and not all sub-reserves were taken into consideration . ...
... To manage an elephant conservation landscape, it is important to identify which factors influence Asian elephant movement and distribution patterns and how all these variables can be combined to identify areas of suitable habitat (Feng & Zhang, 2005b). Studies have emphasized biological factors as habitat criteria and have also integrated biological and anthropogenic aspects to identify potential habitats (Lin et al., 2014;Lin et al., 2008). Furthermore, previous studies have focused more on population size, habitat status and distribution of Asian elephant in individual sub-reserves (Lin et al., 2014;Zong, Liu, Xu, & Wang, 2014). ...
... It experiences a rainy season between May and October, with frequent and/or constant rainfall. The dry season begins in November and ends the following April with an intense spring drought (Lin et al., 2008). The primary vegetation in the region can be classified into four main types: tropical monsoon forest; tropical seasonal moist forest; tropical rain forest; and, sub-tropical montane evergreen broad-leaved forest. ...
Article
Evaluating road effects on the ecological status and landscape connectivity is critical for animal corridor design. Taking the fragmented nature reserves in Xishuangbanna as a case, road impacts on Asian elephant habitats were determined based on a suitability analysis. Potential corridors between different sub-reserves were located using "least-cost" method as a systematic way incorporating remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). Our results revealed that road networks, especially high-level roads (expressway, national road and city-county city road), had the largest effects on the suitability according to the sensitivity analysis. Suitability (> 40) area will increase about 40% if there were no high-level roads. In total, seven potential linkages were located and found to be capable of connecting the habitats of the four sub-reserves. We suggested the Menglun reserve could serve as a stepping-stone for elephant migration. Four further conservation priorities were also identified between the Menglun reserve and the Mengla reserve where the road impacts were intensive. Our study provided information for the development of an efficient reserve network for elephant conservation between existing nature reserves in China and neighboring provinces in Lao PDR.
... Building ecological corridors by conserving existing landscape linkages or restoring habitat areas to function as connections between larger protected areas in Xishuangbanna is urgently needed. Due to land use change, the expansion of plantations and the human population, much attention had been paid to nature reserve management in this region and considerable progress is being made in conservation corridors in the past few years in Xishuangbanna (Feng & Zhang, 2005a;Lin et al., 2008). However, the anthropogenic factors especially in regards to road construction were underestimated and not all sub-reserves were taken into consideration . ...
... To manage an elephant conservation landscape, it is important to identify which factors influence Asian elephant movement and distribution patterns and how all these variables can be combined to identify areas of suitable habitat (Feng & Zhang, 2005b). Studies have emphasized biological factors as habitat criteria and have also integrated biological and anthropogenic aspects to identify potential habitats (Lin et al., 2014;Lin et al., 2008). Furthermore, previous studies have focused more on population size, habitat status and distribution of Asian elephant in individual sub-reserves (Lin et al., 2014;Zong, Liu, Xu, & Wang, 2014). ...
... It experiences a rainy season between May and October, with frequent and/or constant rainfall. The dry season begins in November and ends the following April with an intense spring drought (Lin et al., 2008). The primary vegetation in the region can be classified into four main types: tropical monsoon forest; tropical seasonal moist forest; tropical rain forest; and, sub-tropical montane evergreen broad-leaved forest. ...
Article
Evaluating road effects on the ecological status and landscape connectivity is critical for animal corridor design. Taking the fragmented nature reserves in Xishuangbanna as a case, road impacts on Asian elephant habitats were determined based on a suitability analysis. Potential corridors between different sub-reserves were located using “least-cost” method as a systematic way incorporating remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS). Our results revealed that road networks, especially high-level roads (expressway, national road and city-county city road), had the largest effects on the suitability according to the sensitivity analysis. Suitability ( > 40) area will increase about 40% if there were no high-level roads. In total, seven potential linkages were located and found to be capable of connecting the habitats of the four sub-reserves. We suggested the Menglun reserve could serve as a stepping-stone for elephant migration. Four further conservation priorities were also identified between the Menglun reserve and the Mengla reserve where the road impacts were intensive. Our study provided information for the development of an efficient reserve network for elephant conservation between existing nature reserves in China and neighboring provinces in Lao PDR.
... However, the focus of risk source assessment is the risk effect of the existing landscape pattern deviating from the optimal model, not a specific and clear disturbance source [24,25]. In addition, the ecologically fragile areas are a research hotspot in existing research fields of landscape ecological risk assessment, such as industrial and mining areas [18], watersheds [6,10,26], nature reserves [15,27], and large cities [9,28,29]. Moreover, spatial autocorrelation analysis can explore the agglomeration law of landscape ecological risk, can effectively help highlight the spatial pattern of ecological risk distribution, and can quickly analyze the high-risk areas that need to be concerned in the study area [30,31]. ...
... Xishuangbanna is approximately 19,150 km 2 , which is adjacent to Laos and Myanmar in the south and southwest, respectively ( Figure 1) [39]. The terrain in the north is high, and in the south is low, and is dominated by hilly mountains, with an elevation between 475 m and 2428 m [27]. The rainy season starts in May and ends in October, and the average annual precipitation is from 1500 mm to 2000 mm [40]. ...
Article
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Xishuangbanna is a major natural rubber and tea production base in China and a national nature reserve with the best-preserved tropical ecosystem. However, the extensive exploitation and use of land resources impact the land use/land cover (LULC) and the processes of regional landscape ecology, further causing a battery of ecological and environmental problems. It is necessary to evaluate landscape ecological risk objectively and quantitatively for improving the ecological environment and maintaining ecological balance. First, this study selected China Land Cover Dataset (CLCD) to analyze the changes in LULC. Second, we constructed the landscape ecological risk index (ERI) using LULC changes based on Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. Third, the spatial-temporal pattern and spatial autocorrelation of landscape ecological risk were assessed in our study area. The results showed that the significant change in LULC was that the areas of cropland increased, and the areas of forests decreased during 1990–2019; the forests of a total area of 859.93 km2 were transferred to croplands. The landscape ecological risk kept a low and stable level from 1990 to 2019, more than 75% of the study area remained at the lower or lowest risk level, and in about 70% of the total study area, the ERI level maintained stability. In addition, the landscape ecological risk of the Xishuangbanna increased during 1990–2010 and decreased during 2010–2019. The ecological risk was a significant spatial autocorrelation and has been an aggregation trend in space from 1990 to 2019. Our research can identify key risk areas and provide a reference for the management and sustainable use of land resources, which promotes the understanding of landscape ecological risk and sustainable development of the ecological environment.
... Within China, many species, including gaurs (Bos frontalis), leopards (Panthera pardus fusca), primates (IUCN, 1993;Li et al., 2007) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) (Chen et al., 2016b;Zhang, 2011) are confined to lowland rainforest in Xishuangbanna, a habitat that has been mostly converted to rubber. Due to habitat loss, the Asian elephant is now restricted to only three PAs (Lin et al., 2008). Today little natural forest exists in non-PAs in Xishuangbanna, particularly in the lowlands, while rubber has expanded from 264 ha to 23,616 ha during the past 30 years (Chen et al., 2016a) even within reserves covering a large area. ...
... In some studies that have controlled for location-related bias, PAs have been shown to be effective in reducing deforestation (Joppa & Pfaff, 2011;Nelson & Chomitz, 2011;Soares et al., 2010) but in other studies they have been ineffective (Liu et al., 2001). Several previous studies in Xishuangbanna have examined threats to biodiversity (Lin et al., 2008), including rubber expansion (Chen et al., 2016a) , but none have controlled for location bias and few have systematically investigated the drivers of degradation (Ren et al., 2015). In this study, we used matching techniques to control for the location-related bias of PAs establishment (Andam et al., 2008;Gaveau et al., 2009;Pfaff, Robalino, Sanchez-azofeifa, Andam, & Ferraro, 2009) to test whether the establishment of PAs provides any intrinsic protection. ...
... Vegetation types in the study area mainly include tropical seasonal moist forest, tropical monsoon forest, tropical montane evergreen broad-leaved forest, montane rainforest, bamboo forest, shrubland, and grassland (He, Feng, & Yang, 2008). Asian elephants are primarily distributed in or around the four national nature reserves of XSBN: Mengyang, Menglun, Mengla, and Shangyong, from the north to the south Lin et al., 2006). These reserves account for 21% of the total study area. ...
Article
The landscape connectivity of natural habitats serves an important role in the migration and survival of animals. In southwestern China, the rapid decline of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) population has been attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation due to recent land-use changes. Despite efforts to protect the Asian elephants' habitats, an analysis on the cross-scale landscape connectivity within and among these habitats has rarely been documented. In this study, we focused in Xishuangbanna, China and first identified the key patches for the Asian elephant in Xishuangbanna, China. We then evaluated the landscape connectivity and compared scenarios for eight dispersal distances of the resource patches. Levels of importance for each individual patch were evaluated by calculating the probability of connectivity (dPC) and betweenness centrality (dBC). Results showed that habitats with high suitability occupied 29% of the studied area. The distribution of patch importance levels wasdetermined separately by dPC and dBC, and these two indices corresponded with each other via the con-nector fraction of dPC (dPC connector) index. The final total area of the priority patches was 2478 km 2 , or approximately 76% of the suitable habitat area. Our study indicated that the cross-scale landscape connectivity analysis is an effective approach to characterize the key patches, and the priority patches for Asian elephants can be selected by using both dBC and dPC in Xishuangbanna.
... In the previous Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve planning project, the Shangyong sub-reserve was generally divided into three main functional regions: core area, buffer area, and experimental zone (Lin et al., 2006). Around the world, most nature reserve planning is concentrated entirely on main functional region divisions on a large scale. ...
Article
Lack of landscape connectivity and habitat loss is major threats to biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in nature reserves aimed at conservation. In this study, we used structural pattern and functional con-nectivity metrics to analyze the spatial patterns and landscape connectivity of habitat patches for the Shangyong sub-reserve of the Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve from 1970, 1990, and 2000. On the basis of vegetation and land cover data, we applied the equivalent connected area ECA(PC) indicator to analyze the changes in forest connectivity. Four distance thresholds (2, 4, 8, 12 km) were considered to compare the patch importance of connectivity by dECA values. The results showed the declining trends of landscape connectivity measured by ECA(PC) index from 1970 to 2000. The importance of connectivity in each forest patch varied with the increment of dispersal distances at the patch level, and some important habitat patches, which exhibit a potential to enhance landscape connectivity, should be given more attention. The least-cost pathways based on network structure were displayed under four dispersal distances in three periods. The results showed that the number of paths among the fragments of forest patches exhibited radical increases for larger dispersal distances. Further correlation analyses of AWF, ECA (IIC), and ECA (PC) showed the weakest and least-frequent correlations with the structural pattern indices, while H presented more significant correlations with the PD fragmentation metric. Furthermore, Kendall's rank correlations between the forest patch area and functional connectivity indicators showed that dECA (PC) and dAWF indicators should provided the area-based prioritization of habitat patches. Moreover, the low-rank correlations showed that dF and dLCP can be considered as effective and appropriate indicators for the evaluation of habitat features and network patterns.
... It is crucial that the corridor is restricted to low elevations, as elephants in NGH were shown to avoid slopes in this study. Sodium pools should also be erected along the corridor, as this will encourage elephants to move through (Lin et al. 2008b). ...
Thesis
The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), like several endangered species, is disappearing from this anthropogenic planet. Conservation aims to increase their population size, but this is of little worth if no individuals can adapt to human-induced changes. Elephant conservation should thus be aimed at genetic diversity, for more alleles mean more adaptive behaviours. Generally zoos have tried to sustain genetic diversity, but without success. Focus should therefore be mounted on wild elephant populations, in particular those that hold exclusive alleles. One such population is that in Nangunhe National Nature Reserve (NGH), China. The population exhibits more nucleotide diversity than is recorded in Laos and Vietnam combined, but is vulnerable to stochasticity. With knowledge of the adverse effects of stochasticity, it is surprising that neither management nor scientists have studied elephant demographics in NGH before. This study thus filled the gap in research, generating some startling results. Camera trapping and mark-recapture revealed that the population is very small in NGH (17-33 elephants), emphasising its exposure to stochasticity. The impacts of stochasticity are apparent, with only four calves (≤ 24 months) and two adult males in the population. This age-sex structure is concerning, as it suggests population decline and inbreeding in the coming future. One means of moderating stochasticity is to reconnect NGH with other populations, so facilitating gene flow. Habitat links cannot be established however without a solid understanding of elephant habitat use. This study therefore determined the rainy season habitat use of elephants, previously unknown in NGH. It appears that elephants concentrate in low elevation forests, which are in close proximity to rivers and have dense canopy cover. Their habitat use also increased in forests far from roads (z = 2.474, p < 0.05) while it decreased in forests dominated by dead trees (z = -2.716, p < 0.01). This indicates that Asian elephants avoid both roads and degraded habitats. Overall, this research shows the repercussions of stochasticity for the NGH elephant population. With this information and that on seasonal habitat use, management can expertly intervene to conserve the unique Asian elephant population in NGH. Saving this genetic resource will not only benefit the species provincially, but also globally.
... Vegetation types in the study area mainly include tropical seasonal moist forest, tropical monsoon forest, tropical montane evergreen broad-leaved forest, montane rainforest, bamboo forest, shrubland, and grassland (He, Feng, & Yang, 2008). Asian elephants are primarily distributed in or around the four national nature reserves of XSBN: Mengyang, Menglun, Mengla, and Shangyong, from the north to the south Lin et al., 2006). These reserves account for 21% of the total study area. ...
Article
The landscape connectivity of natural habitats serves an important role in the migration and survival of animals. In southwestern China, the rapid decline of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) population has been attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation due to recent land-use changes. Despite efforts to protect the Asian elephants' habitats, an analysis on the cross-scale landscape connectivity within and among these habitats has rarely been documented. In this study, we focused in Xishuangbanna, China and first identified the key patches for the Asian elephant in Xishuangbanna, China. We then evaluated the landscape connectivity and compared scenarios for eight dispersal distances of the resource patches. Levels of importance for each individual patch were evaluated by calculating the probability of connectivity (dPC) and betweenness centrality (dBC). Results showed that habitats with high suitability occupied 29% of the studied area. The distribution of patch importance levels wasdetermined separately by dPC and dBC, and these two indices corresponded with each other via the connector fraction of dPC (dPCconnector ) index. The final total area of the priority patches was 2478km², or approximately 76% of the suitable habitat area. Our study indicated that the cross-scale landscape connectivity analysis is an effective approach to characterize the key patches, and the priority patches for Asian elephants can be selected by using both dBC and dPC in Xishuangbanna.
Article
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ContextRegional ecological networks play an important role in biodiversity conservation and should be constructed and optimized for continued ecosystem functioning.Objectives Taking a tropical region in Southwest China as the study area, we aimed to propose a new method for constructing ecological networks for Asian elephants affected by human disturbance by focusing on the importance of steppingstones for optimization.Methods Source areas were extracted using a combination of morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA) and the importance of patches (PC) index. A network connecting source areas was then constructed using circuit theory. Steppingstones were added near the breaks in corridors to optimize the ecological network.ResultsThe quality of the southern key corridors in the study area has improved since 1990, but few corridors connect the southern with the central and northern regions. Compared with the ecological network in 2015, the average current density more than doubled, and the potential corridor area increased by approximately eight times from 8.07 to 65.05 km2 after optimization. The connectivity between the north and south was apparently enhanced, and the landscape connectivity of the entire region had improved.Conclusions Source areas can be effectively determined through the integrated use of MSPA and the PC index. Our study also confirmed that small steppingstones, which were selected based on the corridor identification results, have a strong impact on improving landscape connectivity. This study provides a method for the selection of source areas and is an important reference for the planning and optimization of ecological networks.Graphic Abstract
Article
Ecological corridor networks can efficiently improve regional landscape connectivity. Corridors for multiple faunal species movements are receiving increasing attention and graph theory is considered a promising way to explore landscape connectivity. In Xishuangbanna, the circuit theory was applied to explore the corridor networks for biodiversity for the first time. In addition, disturbances caused by the road network and the protection efficiency of National Nature Reserves and planned area for corridors were evaluated. Results indicated that the regional corridor networks could be estimated using a modified circuit method and Zonation model. Spatially, the key corridors were concentrated in the central-western, southeastern and northern regions. We detected 66 main intersections between key corridors and the road buffer. Of these points, 65% are forest, 23% grassland and 12% farmland. More than half of the area of National Nature Reserves constituted the top 50% of the corridors, and the planned corridor areas could efficiently protect some key corridors. However, these reserves only protected about 17% of regional key corridors, and the corridor conservation area in the western and northern regions were absent. The issues addressed in our study aided in the elucidation of the importance of regional landscape connectivity assessments and operational approaches in conservation planning.
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The habitat selection of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) was studied from August 2003 to August 2004 in Shangyong protected area in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, Yunnan, China. Village visiting and transect were used to survey the habitat utilization of Asian elephant. The transects were made about 2 km each through the elephant habitat and data were collected on vegetation type, vegetation aboundance, geography parameters (aspect, slope, location etc.), elevation, population status, frequency of elephant sightings, and other wildlife sighting were recorded. A total of 109 elephant trace points were tracked. 3S (GIS, GPS, RS) technology was used to analyze the data obtained from field surveys and satellite images. Vanderploge and Scavia's selectivity index was used to assess Asian elephant's selection for the different habitat parameters. The results indicated that Asian elephant preferred to select habitat with an altitude less than 1 000 meters, a slope less than 10°, and locations in valleies, with a north and south orientation. The selected habitats were bamboo-evergreen broadleaf mixed forest, shrub and grassland. Asian elephants preferred dense coverage shrub layer and an arbor layer with lower height, dense canopy and small trunk radius. It was also found that the loss of suitable habitat and the illegal hunting for ivory were two major threats the survival of Asian elephants in Shangyong protected area. How to prevent the habitat loss and fragmentation, and how to efficiently control the poaching will be key tasks to the elephant conservation efforts in Xishuangbanna.
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Trace-tracking and transects were used in the surveys on the habitat and behaviors of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) during dry and rain seasons in Simao, Yunnan of China. The transects were made about 2 km each through the elephant habitat and collected data on vegetation type, food species, habitat disturbances, population status, frequency of elephant sightings and other wildlife sightings reported from the area. Totally 21 transects and 170 elephant trace points were tracked from March 2000 to March 2002. All transect locations and villages have been recorded through GPS. There were 457 species of wild plants recorded in 5 different vegetations types in the elephants' range. Behavioral study focused on a herd of five female elephants (3 adults, 1 juvenile and 1 calf) roaming in the erea. The home, range size of the herd, determined by trace spots during dry season survey, was totally 35.67 km2, and with 3 core foraging areas (3.65 km2, 2.79 km2 and 3.29 km2) where provided most of the foods resources for the herd. The home range size of the herd determined by trace spots during rain season survey was 18.42 km2, and with only showed one core foraging area (9.08 km2). There were 19 species of wild plants recorded as the main elephants' food resource in the field during the dry season, and 8 of them were major elephant's food. During the raining season, only 5 wild plant species were recorded that were seldom eaten by elephants. Mean while, we found the elephants foraged on 7 kinds of local crops during the dry season. We also found that wheat, corn and other crops supported nearly 80% the food supplies of the elephants in this period. It was indicated that natural food supplies in elephant's habitat in Simao were not enough for them, so that the elephants herd relied on crops to satisfy their food desires during rain season under the high pressure and threats of human activities in the habitat, the elephants adapted the environment well towards food resource and human disturbance. How to prevent the habitat fragmentation, and to restore the original vegetation for providing enough natural food resources wrill be key tasks to the conservation efforts for the elephants in Simao.
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Riparian forest is protected under federal legislation in Brazil. In the Amazon Basin, numerous streams and rivers provide huge potential for increasing the conservation value of deforested and fragmented landscapes through the protection of linear remnants along watercourses. However, the potential of such remnants to be used as faunal habitat and possibly as movement corridors has never been fully investigated. We surveyed small mammal and litter-frog communities in linear remnants of primary rainforest ranging from 140 to 190 m in width, and in adjacent continuous rainforest, to compare their species richness, composition, and abundance. No significant differences were found in any aspect of community structure or species abundance. This suggests that linear remnants along watercourses provide suitable habitat for at least some forest vertebrates, a conclusion reinforced by the fact that many frogs and small mammals were found reproducing and moving in the remnants. These results highlight the potential of linear remnants to serve as habitat for small forest vertebrates and suggest they could function as corridors for some species to increase landscape connectivity.
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Conflicting definitions lead to confusion when people communicate about ‘corridors’, particularly when they come from different disciplinary backgrounds. Usage of ‘corridor’ in game management, island biogeography, and metapopulation literature focused on function, namely, the movement of flora and fauna from one area to another. A structural usage of the term arose in the field of landscape ecology as it developed in North America with the matrix–patch–corridor paradigm of landscape structure. ‘Corridor’ is now used to describe both the structural and functional aspects of linear landscape features, often implicitly, in a wide range of disciplinary literature.
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In fragmented landscapes, linear forest remnants have the potential to provide habitat and movement corridors for wildlife. We used systematic spotlighting surveys to sample arboreal mammals in 36 linear rainforest remnants in tropical Queensland, Australia. The effects of corridor width, height, isolation, elevation, and floristic composition on mammals were assessed with multiple regression models. Six species were recorded during 108 surveys. The most vulnerable species, the lemuroid ringtail possum (Hemibelideus lemuroides), was found only in remnants comprised of primary rainforest that were linked to large tracts of continuous forest. Two other species, the Herbert River ringtail possum (Pseudochirulus herbertensis) and striped possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata), also favored corridors that were linked to forest tracts or fragments, with the former favoring high-diversity forest (primary forest or mixed regrowth) over low-diversity (Acacia) regrowth. Three other species, the coppery brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), green ringtail possum (Pseudochirops archeri), and Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi), occurred in both isolated and non-isolated remnants and both primary forest and regrowth. Our findings suggest that linear forest remnants that are floristically diverse (not Acacia-dominated regrowth) and at least 30–40 m width can function as habitat and probably movement corridors for most arboreal mammals in this region. The lemuroid ringtail, however, apparently requires corridors of primary rainforest of at least 200 m in width. Because the lemuroid ringtail is highly vulnerable to forest fragmentation, faunal corridors in this region should be designed wherever possible to meet its ecological requirements.
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Natural disturbances and human development can cause habitat fragmentation. Plant and animal populations can become isolated, but wildlife corridors can potentially alleviate the problem by providing linkages between isolated patches of natural areas. These connecting corridors need to be designed to create habitat appropriate for target species.This study developed a framework for design of wildlife corridors which considered both critical corridor attributes and target species. It provided a methodology for use in designing corridors to ensure appropriate species composition. Objectives included identifying and analyzing attributes which constitute a corridor. An ‘ecosystem approach’ for selecting guilds of target species was used. The framework was applied to a fragmented landscape case study in southwestern Ontario, Canada.Results indicated that, by applying this framework to a fragmented landscape, ecologically appropriate corridors could be designed when corridor attributes and target species were carefully analyzed. In addition, it was shown that optimal corridor designs could be altered to fit a landscape's opportunities and constraints.
A study of using GIS for protecting the tropical forest in Mengyang Nature Reserve of Xishuangbanna, China. Yuannan Geographic Environment Research The conservation value of linear forest remnants in central Amazonia
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