USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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To create better maps and visualizations of wildlife movements, USGS researchers are looking into the third dimension with MDKE utilization distribution modeling.

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Montane, flying, or diving species pose unique challenges for wildlife conservation programs. These elusive species might utilize different elevations or altitudes when feeding, resting, or breeding. Management agencies in charge of designing species recovery plans have a need to understand these geographic contexts.

Working with colleagues from the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California San Diego, USGS Western Ecological Research Center scientists are exploring better tools to map out the home range of wildlife species. Instead of traditional methods that estimate home range on flat, two-dimensional maps, ecologists and supercomputer analysts are looking up in the sky and down into the sea—and into the third dimension.

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