Probability Mapping for Species Conservation on Alabama’s Gulf Coast
As our impact on the landscape changes the composition of 'natural' areas, it is important that we integrate geospatial technology to assist in active management. This research explores the integration of GIS and remote sensing to assist in species habitat mapping. It is applicable to both native and non-native communities and has the ability to assist land managers in identifying both areas of importance and areas under threat. The study area is the Alabama Gulf Coast, a region with significant land use change, only slight elevation variation and diverse and unique ecosystems. The focal species of this research is the Alabama beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates), which is endemic to dune habitats of coastal Alabama and is one of four endangered subspecies of old field mice. In recent years, human and natural alterations of coastal ecosystems have severely reduced populations of the beach mouse. They are extremely sensitive to development of the coastal region, which has reduced the amount of quality habitat available. Classification of habitat was conducted using ENVI EX software (ITT Corporation, Boulder, CO), integrating both high and medium resolution datasets. The investigation also integrates LiDAR data to assist in landscape characterization.