With funding from Seattle City Light’s Wildlife Research Grants Program, the Cascadia Partner Forum is excited to launch a year-long effort in coordination with species and habitat connectivity experts to dynamically model regional connectivity in Washington and British Columbia for wolverines.
Wolverine have been a priority species for the partner forum since our inception in part due to their dependence on large, connected ecosystems as well as their vulnerabilities to anticipated impacts from climate change. We also benefit from a rich history of collaboration between researchers in Washington and British Columbia documenting the recovery of wolverines in the Cascades, including participation in a multi-year 5 western states study.
The Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group modeled important core habitats and linkages between them for wolverines in 2010 as part of their statewide analysis. In coordination with the working group, this effort seeks to leverage and learn from extensive empirical science and new technology to update those models in a dynamic platform to display existing quality habitat and changing factors in real-time that may influence habitat availability and connectedness for the species.
Over the next month we will be setting up our team for this effort in coordination with members working on a dynamic spatial tool in Google Earth Engine through our Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy. This effort not only provides a new tool with important information to conserve wolverines in our region into the future, but allows us to explore the opportunity of update connectivity models for a multitude of focal species in the future.