Climate Change Risks and Conservation Implications for a Threatened Small-Range Mammal Species

PLoS ONE 5(4): April 29, 2010

Naia Morueta-Holme, Camilla Fløjgaard, and Jens-Christian Svenning

“Climate change is already affecting the distributions of many species and may lead to numerous extinctions over the next century. Small-range species are likely to be a special concern, but the extent to which they are sensitive to climate is currently unclear. Species distribution modeling, if carefully implemented, can be used to assess climate sensitivity and potential climate change impacts, even for rare and cryptic species.”

Mapping Land-cover Change in a Haitian Watershed using a Combined Spectral Mixture Analysis and Classification Tree Procedure

Geocarto International, Volume 25, Issue 2 April 2010 , pages 85 – 103

Anna Versluis and John Rogan

“Severe deforestation in the Caribbean nation of Haiti is a long-standing concern in Haiti and internationally. There are, however, few studies measuring the amount, type, rate or location of this deforestation and related land-cover changes. This study measures the loss of pine forest over three decades from one watershed in Haiti. The study employs an image processing method that draws on the strengths of spectral mixture and classification tree analyses. Results show 54% of the watershed was forested in 1979 compared with 22% in 2000. For the 2000 map, overall accuracies range from 81 to 91% and user’s mean per-class accuracies range from 71 to 90%. Overall map accuracies range from 73 to 83% for the 1979 land-cover map with user’s mean per-class accuracies ranging from 71 to 84%. For 2000, the combined classification procedure yields more accurate results than a classification tree alone.”

Habitat Priority Planner for ArcGIS

“The Habitat Priority Planner is a GIS-based decision support tool that helps to identify priority locations for conservation and restoration planning.  The Habitat Priority Planner takes away much of the subjective nature of the process by providing a means of obtaining critical habitat analyses that are consistent, repeatable, and transparent. The program allows users to easily test various ideas and “what if” scenarios on the fly, making it the perfect tool to use in a group setting.”

Comparison of Different Geostatistical Approaches to Map Climate Variables: Application to Precipitation

International Journal of Climatology, Volume 30, Issue 4, Date: 30 March 2010, Pages: 620-631

Francisco J. Moral

“The benefits of an integrated geographical information system (GIS) and a geostatistics approach to accurately model the spatial distribution pattern of precipitation are known. However, the determination of the most appropriate geostatistical algorithm for each case is usually neglected, i.e. it is important to select the best interpolation technique for each study area to obtain accurate results. In this work, the ordinary kriging (OK), simple kriging (SK) and universal kriging (universal kriging) methods are compared with three multivariate algorithms which take into account the altitude: collocated ordinary cokriging (OCK), simple kriging with varying local means (SKV) and regression-kriging (RK). The different techniques are applied to monthly and annual precipitation data measured at 136 meteorological stations in a region of southwestern Spain (Extremadura). After carrying out cross-validation, the smallest prediction errors are obtained for the three multivariate algorithms but, particularly, SKV and RK outperform collocated OCK, which needs a more demanding variogram analysis. These algorithms are easily implemented in a GIS, requiring the residual estimates and map algebra capability to generate the final maps. Results evidence the necessity of accounting for spatially dependent precipitation data and the collocated altitude, to accurately define monthly and annual precipitation maps.”

New ESRI Press Book Delivers Practical Guidance to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy

With the release of Introduction to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy: Foundations of Geomatics, ESRI Press has added a key technical offering to its growing list of academic titles. The book introduces the fundamentals of geodesy, using the earth’s gravitational field to determine a location’s exact height, then projecting this three-dimensional information into the two-dimensional realm of cartography.

“In searching for a textbook for my own classes, I felt that the existing geodesy books were either too basic or too advanced,” says author Thomas H. Meyer, associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Connecticut. “My goal for this book is to introduce the concepts of geometrical and physical geodesy at a scope and level that geomaticians are likely to encounter in their practice.”

Intended for students of geodesy, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, engineering, natural resources, and earth sciences, the book simplifies geodetic formulas related to surveying. As a professional reference, it demonstrates how practical problems can be solved by geodetic theory. Detailed examples throughout the book illustrate practical applications of the formulas, and 10 of the 11 chapters end with representative problems for the reader to solve as a means of reinforcing the concepts and methods learned.

Introduction to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy: Foundations of Geomatics (ISBN: 9781589482159, 260 pages, hardcover, $99.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at www.esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit www.esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options or visit www.esri.com/distributors to contact your local ESRI distributor. Interested retailers can contact ESRI Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: ESRI press release]

Predictive Mapping of Season Distributions of Large Mammals using GIS: An Application to Elephants on Mount Kenya

Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 1, Issue 2, Date: June 2010, Pages: 212-220

Hilde Vanleeuwe

“Knowledge of elephants in forested environments where visibility is poor is often restricted to elephant density estimates derived from counts of elephant dung piles along line transects. Elephant dung piles are a good indicator of elephant habitat use over a period of time (i.e. a season) because they remain visible for several months. Using Mount Kenya (MK) in Kenya as a case study, we demonstrate how those dung pile counts can additionally be used to develop elephant dung pile explanatory models and distribution maps.

“The dung pile explanatory models are built from a selected number of line-transect samples per season using generalized linear model analysis, in which the counted dung of each sample is explained by the combined effects of a series of environmental and anthropomorphic parameters. For the significant explanatory parameters in the models, digital map layers are developed and integrated into a geographic information system. Applying the explanatory models, predictive seasonal elephant dung pile distribution maps are developed.

“Data preparation and analysis are intensive, but the distribution maps derived from explanatory parameters of distribution are a powerful tool for patrol planning and land-use management and to locate areas of high elephant density and the habitats they move between. This method is useful for sites where physical, environmental, logistical or other constraints render it impossible to spread line transects evenly over the entire study area, assuming that transects are representative samples of the entire habitat.”

Distribution of Maternity Units and Spatial Access to Specialised Care for Women Delivering before 32 Weeks of Gestation in Europe

Health & Place, Volume 16, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 531-538

Hugo Pilkington, Béatrice Blondel, Emile Papiernik, Marina Cuttini, Hélène Charreire, Rolf F. Maier, Stavros Petrou, Evelyne Combier, Wolfgang Künzel, Gérard Bréart, and Jennifer Zeitlina

“Survival and quality of life are improved for very preterm babies when delivery occurs in a maternity unit with on-site neonatal intensive care (level III unit). We investigated the impact of distance on the probability of delivering in such a unit for births before 32 weeks of gestation from 9 European regions with diverse perinatal health systems (the MOSAIC cohort). We analysed distances between women’s homes, and the nearest level III in population quartiles, adjusting for maternal and pregnancy characteristics. Living farther away from a level III reduced access to specialised care everywhere; in some regions women residing in the fourth quartile were half as likely to deliver in level III units as those in the first. To improve regionalized perinatal care the spatial location of level III units should be taken into account.”