This 18-month effort, funded and supported by the Regional Transportation Authority of Pima County, began with great success at a workshop in May, 2011 in Tucson. 77 stakeholders attended the workshop and identified many potential linkage areas across Pima County. After digitizing and refining the stakeholder input through meetings with local partner agencies, a follow-up workshop was held in October, 2011 to garner additional input and refinement on the linkages previously identified. A discussion on prioritizing linkage areas for further refinement through fine-scale modeling was also part of the second stakeholder workshop.
The Report on Stakeholder Input available below provides background information on the importance and benefits of conserving wildlife linkages for both people and wildlife in Pima County, and describes the methods used in our stakeholder workshops and for developing the accompanying GIS products. It includes a series of maps generated from the digitized stakeholder data that depict the general locations of wildlife linkages important to wildlife movement. The maps are followed by tables with descriptive information about the habitat areas each linkage connects, the species each linkage serves, and known threats and potential conservation opportunities associated with each linkage. The information in this report reflects the views and expertise of workshop participants and likely does not represent an exhaustive mapping of all important wildlife linkages across Pima County. It should instead be considered an initial assessment of wildlife movement patterns to be supplemented in the future by further analysis and refinement that includes additional expert input, GIS-based linkage modeling, and research studies of wildlife movement patterns.
Five additional reports describing a fine-scale modeling process for areas prioritized at the second workshop are also available below. These models were created using the approach developed by the Corridor Design team at Northern Arizona University, described at http://corridordesign.org. This least-cost corridor approach is based on habitat suitability models for a suite of focal species, with resulting models modified based on field validation. Specific recommendations are included in these reports for activities that would increase the permeability of the linkage design areas for wildlife movement, including retrofitting culverts and bridges. These reports are important at the project design and implementation level.
Additional information on connectivity in Pima County can be obtained by contacting the Department's Region 5 (Tucson Office) Habitat Program at 520-628-5376. Higher resolution copies of these reports and associated GIS data can be obtained from the Department’s GIS Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.