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Development of regional planning tools to assess the impacts of climate and land use change on a sensitive grassland bird


Start Date
End Date
Start Date
2010-06-16 05:00:00
End Date
2011-12-16 06:00:00


Samantha M. Wisely(Principal Investigator), Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative(administrator), 2010-06-16(Start), 2011-12-16(End), Development of regional planning tools to assess the impacts of climate and land use change on a sensitive grassland bird


Within grassland communities of the GPLCC one such key indicator species is the Lesser Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidinctus). Lesser Prairie-chicken range extends across the southern portion of the GPLCC area throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Kansas. Lesser Prairie-chickens are a good target species because they are widely distributed across the southern GPLCC, are a species of conservation concern, have large home ranges, and are likely sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances. Similarly, the Greater Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), is a species of conservation concern, with large home range, distributed across the northern portion of the GPLCC including portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and [...]

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Objective 1 was to produce a map of critical habitat for an indicator species, the Greater Prairie-chicken, across the GPLCC. Critical habitat is defined as habitat necessary for lekking and nesting. The model allows us to identify and map critical habitat areas of high suitability which could be designated for conservation, and areas of moderate suitability that could potentially be restored to maximize habitat suitability. This map also allows conservation managers to identify areas of low suitability where habitat reclamation and conservation may prove too costly or impossible to restore or preserve and so could be considered for other anthropogenic uses. The methods used to develop this model are robust and will function as a tool that can be easily adapted for use with other grassland species of concern. Objective 2 of this project was to create a map of dispersal habitat, which we defined as habitat necessary to allow movement and connectivity among populations. This model highlights habitat areas critical for sustaining genetic connectivity and population genetic integrity of Greater Prairie-chicken populations across the GPLCC. Objective 3 has two aspects. The first aspect was to modify the critical habitat model to include climate data from the WorldClim data set. By assessing the current climate envelope of prairie chickens, we will be well prepared to forecast how Greater Prairie-chickens will respond to climate change in the future. The second aspect of objective 3 was to join the critical habitat model (including climate data) with the connectivity habitat model to create a comprehensive geographic model of critical conservation areas for the Greater Prairie-chicken across LCC region 7, the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

Project Extension

productDescriptionReport and habitat model maps

Budget Extension

recipientKansas State University
sourceU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • LC MAP - Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal

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