The Potential for Gray Wolves to Return to Pennsylvania Based on GIS Habitat Modeling

Papers in Resource Analysis, Volume 11, 2009

Jared G. Beerman

“The gray wolf is an animal that is often misunderstood. Due to negative stereotypes of gray wolves, they were hunted to the brink of extinction in the contiguous United States of America. Presently, numerous states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) are implementing reintroduction and management plans to rebuild the wolf population. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to identify potential areas for wolf expansion based on habitat requirements in the state of Pennsylvania. This study used information from research compiled on existing wolf packs in the contiguous United States, along with management and reintroduction plans to locate suitable land for gray wolves located in the state of Pennsylvania. The approach was to use numerous data layers to determine if any land could support wolf existence and where these ranges would be located. Key layers used to locate wolf pack ranges in this study included: road density, human density, and land cover. The suitable locations were then examined to determine: water availability, prey density, and total range size. Once these locations had been identified, an approximation of potential pack size was then determined based on range size. The results of this study show there are multiple ranges which could potentially be used for gray wolf habitation in Pennsylvania.”

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Drought and Summer Precipitation in Nepal under Climate Change

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Volume 6, Session 29, 2009

Madan Sigdel and M. Ikeda

“Agricultural production and water resources in Nepal are highly influenced by precipitation for an entire year. In addition to dominant rainfall during summer monsoon over Nepal (SMRN), drought indices, which were normalized with the mean rainfall, were analyzed in association with large-scale atmospheric patterns using various statistical analyses. The indices at 3-month and 12-month represent agricultural and hydrological time scales, respectively. A dominant oscillation in SMRN exists in the range of 2.5–2.8 years indicating El Nino and Southern Oscillation (ENSO): i.e., less rain over eastern and central Nepal during El Nino. The analyses of horizontal patterns of moisture transport regressed on the SMRN revealed that the SMRN variability is more closely related with the moisture flux in a near-surface layer from Bay of Bengal under influences of ENSO rather than the moisture flux from the Arabian Sea. The 12-month drought index is basically equivalent with SMRN. On the other hand, the 3-month index additionally exhibits less rain in winter over western Nepal associated with weak westerly. Therefore, higher probability of the drought risk is suggested for agricultural production in western Nepal. While Indian Ocean Dipole was also investigated, its influence on Nepal is limited. These results suggest to us to prepare more appropriate mitigation methods for high risk of drought under climate change in different ways between western Nepal and the other regions.”

Spatial-temporal Analysis of Moving Polygons

Colin John Robertson, Masters thesis

“There are few methods available for the spatial-temporal analysis of polygon data. This research develops a new method for spatial-temporal analysis of moving polygons (STAMP). Using an event-based framework, polygons from neighboring time periods are related by spatial overlap and proximity. The proximity spatial relation is defined by an application specific distance threshold. STAMP is demonstrated in the spatial-temporal analysis of a wildfire burning over small spatial and temporal scales, and in the spatial-temporal analysis of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Coleoptera: Hopkins) movement patterns over large spatial and temporal scales. The mountain pine beetle analysis found that short range movement patterns of mountain pine beetles occurred at different beetle population levels. Spot proliferation occurred most when beetle presence was increasing slowly, perhaps moving into new areas for the first time. When beetle presence increased rapidly, local expansion, or spot growth, was a more common movement pattern. In the Pine Pass study area. long range dispersal markedly extended the northeast border of the mountain pine beetle range.”

GIS Priority Map Set to Focus WetlandCare Australia’s Resource Management Projects

Environmental Observer, Spring 2010

Ian Foreman, GHD

“WetlandCare Australia is improving New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s wetland environments and biodiversity through natural resource management projects. It commissioned the Central West Catchment Management Authority (CWCMA) to develop an access database that would enable staff members to prioritize and rank 113 wetland complexes. This information would help them in their rehabilitation and protection efforts. CWCMA created a tabular database that contained more than 32,000 individual polygons and 32 attributes. This data was used in calculating a weighted assessment. Rankings were then included in a wetland site priority index.”

Pond-based Survey of Amphibians in a Saxon Cultural Landscape from Transylvania (Romania)

Italian Journal of Zoology, Volume 77, Issue 1 March 2010 , pages 61 – 70

T. Hartel; K. Oumlllerer; D. Cogabrevelniceanu; Sz. Nemes; C. I. Moga; and L. Demeter

“Habitat-based inventories provide critical reference data that are essential to track changes in amphibian communities and their habitats. We present the results of a pond inventory in a cultural landscape from central Romania. The presence/absence of amphibians was assessed through multiple-year surveys during the breeding season and larval development. Ten amphibian species and a species complex were identified: Triturus cristatus, T. vulgaris, Bombina variegata, Bufo bufo, B. viridis, Rana dalmatina, R. temporaria, R. arvalis, Hyla arborea, Pelobates fuscus and the R. esculenta complex. The species richness is larger in the permanent ponds than in the temporary ones. Rana dalmatina, B. bufo and the R. esculenta complex are the most frequent in the permanent ponds, while Bombina variegata and R. temporaria were the most common in temporary ponds. The scarcity of B. viridis and R. arvalis is explained by the lack of available habitats. Our data allow a more complex analysis of the spatial and temporal determinants of amphibian habitat use in this cultural landscape, and provide a consistent baseline for future surveys and monitoring programmes.”

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Using GIS to Create a Gray Wolf Habitat Suitability Model and to Assess Wolf Pack Ranges in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Papers in Resource Analysis, Volume 10, 2008

Cole C. Belongie

“Gray wolves are often difficult for biologists, forest planners, and wildlife managers to study and predict movements and habits. The controversy over wolves in the Midwest is growing with the delisting of the gray wolf from the Threatened and Endangered Species List. Growing populations of wolves have increased sightings and contact between humans and wolves. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a tool that can be utilized by planners and managers to identify wolf habitats and possible areas of human – wolf conflict. This study uses GIS to take information from written literature on wolf habitat and preferences of wolf locations and ranges in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan and compare these to a model of wolf range suitability developed in this study. The model developed by this study utilizes four raster layers (landuse/land cover, road density, population density, and deer population density) classified to create suitability ranges. The model created indicates the presence of abundant suitable habitat in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.”

Spatial and Temporal Ecology of Scots Pine ectomycorrhizas

New Phytologist, Volume 186 Issue 3, Pages 755 – 768, Published Online 25 Feb 2010

Brian J. Pickles, David R. Genney, Jacqueline M. Potts, Jack J. Lennon, Ian C. Anderson, and Ian J. Alexander

“Spatial analysis was used to explore the distribution of individual species in an ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal community to address: whether mycorrhizas of individual ECM fungal species were patchily distributed, and at what scale; and what the causes of this patchiness might be. Ectomycorrhizas were extracted from spatially explicit samples of the surface organic horizons of a pine plantation. The number of mycorrhizas of each ECM fungal species was recorded using morphotyping combined with internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing. Semivariograms, kriging and cluster analyses were used to determine both the extent and scale of spatial autocorrelation in species abundances, potential interactions between species, and change over time. The mycorrhizas of some, but not all, ECM fungal species were patchily distributed and the size of patches differed between species. The relative abundance of individual ECM fungal species and the position of patches of ectomycorrhizas changed between years. Spatial and temporal analysis revealed a dynamic ECM fungal community with many interspecific interactions taking place, despite the homogeneity of the host community. The spatial pattern of mycorrhizas was influenced by the underlying distribution of fine roots, but local root density was in turn influenced by the presence of specific fungal species.”

Apples, Bananas, and Oranges: Using GIS to Determine Distance Travelled, Energy Use, and Emissions from Imported Fruit

Papers in Resource Analysis, Volume 11, 2009

Greta Bernatz

“Public interest in food distribution systems as well as an increasing amount of food imports to the United States has resulted in a need for methods of quantifying the transportation of food imports in terms of distance travelled, energy use, and environmental impact. Geographic information systems (GIS) provide a powerful tool to organize and analyze spatial data. This study used a geographic information system to analyze monthly imports of apples, oranges, and bananas in 2008. Shipping routes were mapped, and statistics including average distance travelled, total energy use, and total greenhouse gas emissions were calculated. Bananas were imported in a much larger quantity than apples and bananas, but the average source distance, energy/ton, and emissions/ton measures were lower for bananas than for imported apples and oranges.”

Lining Up Data in ArcGIS: A Guide to Map Projections

Lining Up Data in ArcGIS: A Guide to Map Projections, a new reference guide from ESRI Press, helps resolve the problem of aligning disparate map projections with geographic information system (GIS) technology. Designed for beginning and advanced ArcGIS practitioners, this book offers best practice techniques for identifying and creating accurate map projections and coordinate systems. It covers technical information ranging from procedures used to identify unknown map projections to the creation of custom projections for unique data alignment. While written specifically for users of ArcGIS, this book is a guide for anyone working with map projections, coordinate systems, and data conversion.

“I have found that data misalignment is one of the biggest issues faced by GIS users,” says author Margaret M. Maher, a specialist in projections and data conversion in ESRI’s Support Services department. “While understanding coordinate systems can be a challenge, I believe that this book is filled with practical techniques that will demystify the process.”

Lining Up Data in ArcGIS: A Guide to Map Projections (ISBN: 9781589482494, 200 pages, $24.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options, or visit to contact your local ESRI distributor. Interested retailers can contact ESRI Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: ESRI press release]

Spatial Distribution and Partitioning of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Tokyo Bay, Japan

Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 2010, 12, 838

Jun Kobayashi, Shigeko Serizawa, Takeo Sakurai, Yoshitaka Imaizumi, Noriyuki Suzuki, and Toshihiro Horiguch

“Spatial distributions and partitioning of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Tokyo Bay, Japan, were evaluated by measuring the concentrations of all 209 PCB congeners in surface and bottom waters and bottom sediment at 10 locations. The dissolved + particulate summed congener concentrations (PCB [sum of the concentrations of all 209 PCB congeners]) in surface and bottom waters ranged from 120 to 1100 pg L-1 (median 250 pg L-1) and from 83 to 910 pg L-1 (median 230 pg L-1), respectively. The concentrations did not statistically differ between the two layers, possibly because of vertical mixing of the water column. PCB concentrations in sediment ranged from 2.7 to 110 ng g-1-dry weight. The highest PCB concentrations in both water and sediment were found at stations in the northern bay. Logarithms of field-observed organic carbon-normalized partition coefficients (KOC) increased linearly as the log octanol–water partition coefficients (KOW) increased, up to a log KOW of about 6.5, and then decreased for log KOW > 6.5 (mostly hexa- and hepta-chlorinated biphenyls). Furthermore, log KOC values of congeners having log KOW < 6.5 were higher by about 1 than values predicted by a published empirically derived equation, suggesting that application of KOC values determined in laboratory experiments with soil or sediment samples to fate prediction models may result in overestimation by about one order of magnitude of the concentrations of PCBs with log KOW < 6.5 in the dissolved phase in the water column.”