Software Details

Related Posts

CBI Contact

CBI Authors + Contributors

Linkage Mapper is a GIS toolbox designed to support regional wildlife habitat connectivity analyses. It consists of several Python scripts, packaged as an ArcGIS toolbox, that automate mapping of wildlife habitat corridors. The toolbox is comprised of six tools, described below. 

The primary and original tool in the toolbox is Linkage Pathways. Linkage Pathways uses GIS maps of core habitat areas and resistances to identify and map linkages between core areas. Each cell in a resistance map is attributed with a value reflecting the energetic “cost”, (i.e. difficulty and mortality risk) of moving across that cell. Resistance values are typically determined by cell characteristics, such as land cover or housing density, combined with species-specific landscape resistance models. As animals move away from specific core areas, cost-weighted distance analyses produce maps of total movement resistance accumulated.

The Linkage Pathways tool identifies adjacent (neighboring) core areas and creates maps of least-cost corridors between them. It then mosaics the individual corridors to create a single composite corridor map. The result shows the relative value of each grid cell in providing connectivity between core areas, allowing users to identify which routes encounter more or fewer features that facilitate or impede movement between core areas. Linkage Pathways also produces vector layers that can be queried for corridor statistics.