Study Site Criteria

We are looking for landscapes that meet eight criteria.

There are only a handful of implemented conservation corridors (long, wide swaths passing through human-dominated land uses) on the Earth and they are too young to be evaluated for long-term effectiveness. Therefore we are looking for landscapes which contain elements that resemble conservation corridors; each study site must also have appropriate reference conditions against which corridor effectiveness can be compared. To learn more about how we developed our criteria, please read this 8-page pdf.

The ideal study site will contain linked habitat patches, and will also contain two types of reference conditions: (1) habitat patches that are separated by approximately the same Euclidean distance as the linked patches, and (2) a continuous expanse of habitat large enough to contain sampling locations as large and as widely separated as the connected patches.

However, we will consider landscapes that meet most of the criteria specified below, or that have only a single reference condition, so please complete the form even if your proposed site is not a perfect match. If you have questions, contact us.

Landscape Criteria

1. Prior to alteration by humans, the natural land cover used by the focal species must have been continuous. We do not wish to study landscapes where habitat exists in natural patches such as a set of naturally disjunct marshes.

2. Since land alteration by humans, the landscape has been stable for 20-50 years, or 10 generations for the species in question.

Corridor Criteria

3. The landscape contains at least one corridor linking two habitat patches (Figure 1A).

4. The corridor is at least 100 meters wide, except for short constrictions such as underpasses beneath a road.

5. The corridor is at least 0.5 km (500 meters) long.

6. The site not only meets all or most of criteria 1-5, but it also contains at least one type of reference condition. In the Type 1 reference condition (Figure 1B), the habitat patches are isolated. In the Type 2 reference condition (Figure 1C), the habitat is large enough that we can sample the focal species at sampling locations that are as large and as far apart as the habitat patches connected by the corridor. Ideal study sites have corridor-connected patches and both Type 1 and Type 2 Reference Conditions, but we will study landscapes with only one type of reference condition.

Matrix Criteria

7. The matrix adjacent to corridors and habitat patches is dominated by urban, industrial, intensive agriculture, industrial forestry land use, or is otherwise heavily impacted by human activities.

Species Criteria

8. At least one mammal, amphibian, reptile, sedentary bird, or flightless arthropod inhabits the habitat patches but not the matrix.

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