Category:åÊMonitoring Wetlands and Mitigating Floods
Project Team: Arizona Ecological Forecasting II
Team Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Dr. Paul Evangelista (Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; Colorado State University)
Nicholas Young (Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; Colorado State University)
Dr. Catherine Jarnevich (U.S. Geological Survey)
Havasu National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to protect a critical migratory bird stopover along the Colorado River in Arizona after the creation of the Hoover Dam depleted riparian habitat in the surrounding area. Invasive plants including tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) threaten native vegetation communities in the Refuge and alter hydrologic regimes. Land managers need maps to evaluate the current distribution of tamarisk and other species for inclusion in a decision-support framework. Remote sensing provides an efficient tool for conducting such work; however, land managers may have a limited background in this type of analysis, hindering the incorporation of these tools in management planning and action. We addressed this challenge in the Topock Marsh region of the Refuge by using and comparing Landsat-8 and WorldView-2 satellite imagery in species distribution models. The results from this work will provide important information at different spatial scales to facilitate the development of management strategies such as the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, and the unique methodology employed will support future monitoring efforts.
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