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

Wyoming Project

Migration Corridors and Landscape Connectivity Project

January 2011 - June 2018


Participating Agencies

  • Wyoming Wildlife: The Foundation
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department

We are using geospatial modeling to determine existing ungulate migration corridors, landscape connectivity and integrity patterns throughout Wyoming. Our work focuses on the use of geospatial tools and modeling to determine a) where ungulate migration corridors occur in Wyoming, b) statewide distribution of existing intact landscapes, and c) how a and b relate spatially to each other. In order to determine existing ungulate migration corridors, a combination of existing collar data on populations in Wyoming will be considered, as well as existing spatial data maintained by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), based on collar data and best professional opinion. These will be used in combination with modeling techniques that include deterministic variables such as elevation, vegetation, phenology, and anthropogenic disturbances, among others. Modeling existing intact landscapes will involve the incorporation of a variety of factors, including the weighted evaluation of all anthropogenic disturbances, from grazing and other agricultural uses to oil and gas development, transportation, and rural development. In consideration of their relationship to each other, ungulate migration corridors and landscape connectivity and integrity, a variety of variables will be considered, including existing barriers to migration. This work is currently in its initial phase, and is being funded by the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources, and will contribute to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Western Governors Association. Future considerations for this work include evaluation of how migration corridors are considered in energy, agriculture, and rural development management decisions in Wyoming.