Habitat suitability modelling is an exceptional analytical tool that allows researchers and conservationists to estimate the potential distribution of a species in a particular geographic area based on various environmental variables. It provides insights into which areas are suitable habitats for specific species, can guide conservation efforts, and can help inform land use planning and management decisions, providing a valuable means of balancing human activities with the preservation of natural ecosystems.
Landscape permeability describes the degree to which a landscape allows for the movement of animals through it. It is a measure of how easy or difficult it is for them to move between habitats or across a landscape, and is influenced by a range of factors, such as the type of land cover, the presence of barriers, and the scale of the landscape.
Understanding landscape permeability is essential for conserving biodiversity because it enables us to identify areas that are likely to act as barriers to the movement of species and to prioritize conservation actions accordingly. For example, if a species requires large areas of habitat and needs to move between different habitats, identifying the most permeable corridors between these habitats can help to ensure the species’ survival.
Landscape permeability can also be used to assess the potential impacts of landscape changes, such as urbanization or land-use changes, on the movement of species. By modeling changes in landscape permeability, we can predict the potential impacts of these changes on biodiversity and develop strategies to mitigate negative effects.
Landscape Permeability Map
Habitat suitability models thus offer an insight into areas that would, in our case, be suitable for territories of resident lynx, whereas landscape permeability prediction outlines the probable routes of dispersing animals.
Researchers from the Biotechnical faculty, Biology department prepared two habitat suitability maps obtained by different methodological approaches, a map of optimal habitat patches and landscape permeability and habitat connectivity maps. Maps with brief descriptions are attached below, while PNG and GIS files are available at Life Lynx webpage.
Habitat suitability maps
GLM based Habitat Suitability Model
Maxent based Habitat Suitability Model
Suitable and optimal lynx habitat
Habitat Connectivity Map
Additionally, in order to make these maps easier to view and inspect, we have created an interactive map.