Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Utah
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Utah Project

RWO 70 - Research, Education, and Training in the Proper Application of Species Distribution and Habitat Models to the Management and Conservation of Plant and Animal Species

April 2019 - September 2022


Participating Agencies

  • Ecosystems

Virtually all spatially-based (landscape-scale) management and conservation relies to some extent on models of species distributions and habitats (SDHM). At the level of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), distributions are clearly integral to the vast bulk of ESA-related Federal Register documentation, as well as on the USFWS ECOS site. However, for many species the state-of-art distribution map is 25+ year old Gap Analysis outputs, or locations tagged to land tenure units frequently the size of US counties, or polygon-based "blobs." None of these provide spatial resolutions useful in management today. This project is a collaboration between the US Geological Survey, Ecosystems, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Ecological Services, and the FWS National Conservation Training Center. , and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. This proposal will train and educate a wide range of USGS and CRU-based scientists and students, and well as cooperating Federal and state biologists, in the proper constriction of defensible SDHM. The process will facilitate meeting user-specific research objectives related to SDHMs and their application to management.