2019 journal article

What Makes a Location into a “Favorable Habitat” under Changing Climate and Environmental Conditions? A Pilot Study Focused on Exploring the Differences between Natural and Non-natural Habitats using Airborne LiDAR

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 228, 012018.

Source: Crossref
Added: March 22, 2021

Recovery plans supported by conservation models are critical for the protection of endangered species. For developing these models, parameters are most commonly extracted via field survey or remote sensing based methods. However, at times, these models get narrowed down to specific habitat features associated with naturally occurring ecosystems, and thereby fail to detect suitable non-natural habitats that the animals have gotten adapted to in recent years - as a survival mechanism to cope up with the dynamic climate and environmental conditions. As a first step to address this issue, we considered the case of Red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) species and undertook a pilot study to explore the characteristics of non-natural locations that make it favorable for RCW nesting. On exploring the differences in habitat characteristics of natural and non-natural ecosystems - by employing airborne laser scanning data and logistic regression analysis method - we identified new prominent forest attributes and their variations for each habitat types. Based on our findings, we provide fruitful interpretations, recommendations and encourage discussions on less-studied conservation aspects and hope to stretch the horizons of ongoing biodiversity conservation efforts in the wake of global environmental change.