Habitat Gap Analysis Report: Polk County and St Croix County, Wisconsin

The purpose of this project was to create a high-resolution land cover classification and conduct habitat gap analyses for monarch butterflies, mallard ducks, blue-winged teal, ruffed grouse, and Karner blue butterflies in Polk County and St Croix County in Wisconsin.The land cover was classified using an object-based image analysis (OBIA) approach with highresolution leaf-off imagery, leaf-on imagery, and lidar data, acquired in 2014 and 2015, and with ancillary vector datasets.

The habitat gap analysis used the land cover classification to identify habitat areas and a region growing process to model corridors between the habitat areas and the lack of connectivity or gaps between the habitat areas. The region-growing process used the habitat classes for each species as the seeds for flooding the landscape surrounding each habitat area. The process produced a corridor layer where habitat areas were connected by a species-defined distance. A habitat gap layer was created when the maximum connectivity distance was exceeded or the process was interrupted by a barrier.

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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