Modelling Florida Panther Distribution in Southern Florida and the Influence of Anthropogenic Forces

Authors: Sam Watson*, Clark University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Environmental Science, Animal Geographies
Keywords: GIS, Conservation
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Florida Panther is one of the most at risk endangered species in North America. the species has experienced incredible loss of habitat due to human encroachment on historical territories and ranges. human barriers like cities and roads influence the distribution of big cats in Southern Florida. New habitat is needed to maintain genetically healthy populations. the implementation of wildlife bridges/tunnels has done little to improve the movement of panther populations. the territorial nature of male panthers require several corridors be built to accommodate this behavior. Modelling suitable tracts of land was done in ArcGIS using the Spatial Analyst extension. The results of the modelling have lead to suggest the implementation of additional crossings further south in Big Cypress National Park. Granting panther populations access to remaining suitable habitat in the Everglades National Park. In In addition to the modelling of Florida panther distribution that was done, potential habitat loss will be predicted to aid in the planning of future conservation efforts.

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