By
Marissa Kunerth
Applied Sciences Program Contributor
Published

 

This video series highlights Ecological Forecasting program area projects.

Growing environmental pressures, changing climate, and ecological damage are forcing animals to change migration routes or relocate away from their historic ranges to new areas. As changes continue, the long-term survival of many species often depends on their ability to safely travel across a landscape to find a more optimal habitat.

 

To model an animal’s ability to roam the landscape under current and alternative future conditions, Kimberly Hall, a climate change ecologist at The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and her team of scientists built a software package called Omniscape. This software, and its predecessor, Circuitscape, can input diverse climate, physical, and ecological variables from NASA Earth observation data to map how animals migrate and how those patterns can change.

 

Mountain lions spotted by a trail camera in Star Creek Ranch in Santa Cruz, California. Credits: TNC California Chapter's Omniscape Tool/Aaron Jones

TNC and partner agencies are using this tool to guide decision making and investments in land protection and management.

 

This story is part of our Space for U.S. collection. To learn how NASA data are being used in your state, please visit nasa.gov/spaceforus.

 

Reservoir in Los Angeles, California overlooking the Hollywood sign. Credits: Los Angeles City Planning/Kat Superfisky

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