The Connectivity Analysis Toolkit is a software interface that provides conservation planners with newly-developed tools for both linkage mapping and landscape-level ‘centrality’ analysis. Centrality refers to a group of landscape metrics that rank the importance of sites as gatekeepers for flow across a landscape network. The Toolkit allows users to develop and compare three contrasting centrality metrics based on input data representing habitat suitability or permeability, in order to determine which areas, across the landscape as a whole, would be priorities for conservation measures that might facilitate connectivity and dispersal. The Toolkit also allows application of these approaches to the more common question of mapping the best habitat linkages between a source and a target patch. The software is freely available at www.connectivitytools.org (a link is also posted on this blog site). A detailed manual included in the download gives more background on the methods, and may also be useful to those who are not GIS modelers but are interested in conservation planning. Although this blog has a purposely limited audience, we plan to make the software broadly available, so please feel free to distribute this information and the location of the download website to anyone who may be interested.
The Conservation Science Blog is intended to bring new and relevant research to the attention of conservation scientists, and facilitate discussion on how to apply this science to further conservation goals in western North America.