Innovation That Matters

The results of the map were valuable because it included a range of different types of landowners, including federal, state and tribal | Photo source Evi T. on Unsplash

New mapping technique helps create wildlife corridors


The process rates the strength of legal authorities and the importance of the restoration of the land, helping experts decide on resourcing

Spotted: Researchers from Washington State University have created a new technique of mapping the potential for landscape restoration for improved wildlife corridors. The process provides a weighted rating for the strength of the legal authority governing each parcel of land and the naturalness of the environment under consideration. The ensuing maps provide conservation projects and organisations with data to help prioritise the allocation of resources.

Led by graduate student Amanda Stahl, the research team mapped the state’s Okanogan County stream areas. As a test case, the results were especially valuable because it included a range of different types of landowners, including federal, state and tribal, and a diversity of animals that would benefit from a strengthened environmental corridor.


The researchers found that by focusing the mapping along streams and rivers, potential benefits were easily multiplied, including for humans, birds and fish. Other organisations have already expressed interest in the technique and asked the team to map larger areas. The findings were published in the Conservation Biology journal in February 2020.

From urban rewilding to cleaning contaminated agricultural soil with plants, Springwise has spotted a variety of innovations focused on improving the health of the natural world and its human and animal inhabitants.

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