Friday, April 10, 2009

Google Earth and Habitat Conservation

The mission of the National Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.

To that end, Audubon Wyoming and their partners have mapped the habitat of the Greater Sage-Grouse in their eastern range and created Geographic Information Systems (GIS) files, which have been converted to Google Earth (kmz) files and incorporated into the latest Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Google Earth-based report. In the report, the NRDC states, "...the West is also home to remarkable wildlands, diverse wildlife and irreplaceable cultural resources. That makes it vital to find the best sites for new clean energy projects and transmission lines, so that America can harness renewable power while doing the least damage to the Western environment."

Audubon Wyoming's Senior Ecologist, Kevin Doherty, just released his dissertation titled:
Sage-Grouse and Energy Development:Integrating Science with Conservation Planning to Reduce Impacts. "Recent energy development has resulted in rapid and large-scale changes to western shrub-steppe ecosystems without a complete understanding of its potential impacts on wildlife populations." Click here for full document.

You can view a video of the bird in its habitat here.

Map couresty of Audubon Wyoming

Note: Audubon South Carolina has Google Earth files showing sanctuary boundaries, the Four Holes Swamp watershed boundary, the Francis Beidler Forest boardwalk and the Francis Beidler Forest canoe trail at the bottom of Francis Beidler Forest educator's page.

No comments: