Paper/Poster/Presentation Title

Habitat Analysis for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard in Western Texas using RS and GIS Approach

Keywords

Sceloporus arenicolus; narrow endemic; image classification; rugosity

Start Date

25-6-2018 3:40 PM

End Date

25-6-2018 5:20 PM

Abstract

We conducted Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) conservation planning. We focused on improving our understanding of the landscape-level distribution of the sand shinnery oak soil-vegetation association and terrain characters that determine occurrence of the dune-dwelling, endemic DSL. The 145,043 hectare (ha) study area included most of the occupied habitat for the DSL in Texas.

First, we utilized the National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial imagery for habitat land cover classification. Five land cover types were categorized, which included sand dune, shinnery oak tree, caliche (the combination of well pads and roads), mesquite, and grass. Based on image classification results, we classified 15,664 ha as sand dunes, 40,177 ha as shinnery oak, 6,962 ha as mesquite, 6,527 ha as caliche and 75,712 ha as grass.

Next, the study area’s terrain roughness (rugosity) was calculated using ArcGIS Benthic rugosity calculation tool based on the digital elevation map from National Elevation Database and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data.

Last, each land cover map and the rugosity layer were used together to calculate statistical values based on the survey grid map that describe the distribution of land cover types and the range of rugosity values in each survey grid.

The results and final products of the Permit Area/Likelihood of Occurrence Map obtained from this study can evaluate how different land use scenarios may alter the probability of DSL persistence across shinnery oak sand-dune habitats in Texas. Thus, it helps guide monitoring and conservation of DSL.

Stream and Session

C6: Ecosystem Services Values and Quantification: A Negotiation between Engineers, Economists, and Ecologists

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Jun 25th, 3:40 PM Jun 25th, 5:20 PM

Habitat Analysis for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard in Western Texas using RS and GIS Approach

We conducted Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) conservation planning. We focused on improving our understanding of the landscape-level distribution of the sand shinnery oak soil-vegetation association and terrain characters that determine occurrence of the dune-dwelling, endemic DSL. The 145,043 hectare (ha) study area included most of the occupied habitat for the DSL in Texas.

First, we utilized the National Agriculture Imagery Program aerial imagery for habitat land cover classification. Five land cover types were categorized, which included sand dune, shinnery oak tree, caliche (the combination of well pads and roads), mesquite, and grass. Based on image classification results, we classified 15,664 ha as sand dunes, 40,177 ha as shinnery oak, 6,962 ha as mesquite, 6,527 ha as caliche and 75,712 ha as grass.

Next, the study area’s terrain roughness (rugosity) was calculated using ArcGIS Benthic rugosity calculation tool based on the digital elevation map from National Elevation Database and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data.

Last, each land cover map and the rugosity layer were used together to calculate statistical values based on the survey grid map that describe the distribution of land cover types and the range of rugosity values in each survey grid.

The results and final products of the Permit Area/Likelihood of Occurrence Map obtained from this study can evaluate how different land use scenarios may alter the probability of DSL persistence across shinnery oak sand-dune habitats in Texas. Thus, it helps guide monitoring and conservation of DSL.