GIS-Based Habitat Suitability Analysis for the Eastern Hellbender

Title

GIS-Based Habitat Suitability Analysis for the Eastern Hellbender

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Description

The Eastern Hellbender is North America’s largest amphibian species and is in great danger of extinction. A good understanding of its spatial distribution is very important because the species is a biological indicator for good water conditions. Keeping this vital species off the endangered list is advantageous for preserving biodiversity in our streams. The aim for this project is to determine the most suitable habitat range for the Eastern Hellbender based on the factors that most affect its distribution. First, we will identify the most significant factors that are affecting the population of the hellbender. The six factors chosen are as follows: land cover, elevation, slope, water temperature, water pH, and proximity to dams. A suitability map will be created for each of the criteria. All of the six suitability maps will be overlaid to create a complete suitability map. This suitability map will then be compared to the actual current species range of the Eastern Hellbender so that its accuracy can be assessed. This information could provide insights into the species dynamics, as well as the design of protection plans and conservation strategies.

Publication Date

4-24-2019

Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Shuang-Ye Wu

Primary Advisor's Department

Geology

Keywords

Stander Symposium poster

Comments

Presenter: Emma C Yanosko

GIS-Based Habitat Suitability Analysis for the Eastern Hellbender

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