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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Land Use Planning for Urban Wildlife and Education: Incorporating Wildlife Habitat Characteristics into a GIS Spatial Model for Urban Land Use Planning and Education

EPA Grant Number: U915758
Title: Land Use Planning for Urban Wildlife and Education: Incorporating Wildlife Habitat Characteristics into a GIS Spatial Model for Urban Land Use Planning and Education
Investigators: Stout, William E.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
EPA Project Officer: Edwards, Jason
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $70,610
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000)
Research Category: Economics and Decision Sciences , Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Social Sciences



This project will determine if the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a suitable umbrella species for urban land use planning in areas where it is common. It will determine demographic trends in the red-tailed hawk nesting population and nest site selection at the landscape scale in the urban metropolitan Milwaukee area using Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis. From this information, this project will make recommendations for urban land use planning through GIS spatial modeling, and will develop an interdisciplinary secondary education curriculum that integrates GIS computer technology, wildlife ecology, and land use planning.


Red-tailed hawk nests will be located in the urban metropolitan Milwaukee area, and reproductive success will be determined. The number of different taxonomic groups and species (i.e., mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians) that are present in urban nesting habitats will be compared to the number present where red-tails do not nest to determine if the red-tailed hawk is a suitable umbrella species. Nest sites will be plotted on a GIS and layered over land use data supplied by the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC). GIS spatial analysis will determine nest site selection and habitat requirements at the landscape scale. The important red-tailed hawk habitat and landscape characteristics will be used to develop a GIS spatial model and to make recommendations for urban land use planning. An educational curriculum will be developed that integrates wildlife ecology, land use planning, and GIS computer technology. This unit will use the information about urban red-tailed hawks, analyze this information with GIS, and formulate land use planning recommendations. While each GIS analysis is individualized, the same basic results will be obtained.

Expected Results:

By incorporating the habitat requirements of an umbrella species into land use planning, humans will allow for other wildlife in urban landscapes. This project will generate a better understanding of urban wildlife ecology, and how wildlife species adapt to humanized landscapes and coexist with humans in these urban environments. It will generate a new tool for urban and regional planners to utilize when considering wildlife in urban planning. This project will develop an interdisciplinary educational curriculum that integrates wildlife ecology, land use planning and GIS computer technology. The results will have important implications for urban wildlife ecology, urban and regional land use planning, and education.

Supplemental Keywords:

red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis, urban land use planning, wildlife, education, ecology, ecosystem, population, indicators, umbrella species, nest site, habitat, landscape, Geographic Information System, GIS, spatial analysis, modeling, Midwest., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Geography, wildlife, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Urban and Regional Planning, monitoring, remote sensing, model-based analysis, spatial landscape model, social impact analysis, stressors, economic research, umbrella species, environmental decision making, remote sensing data, decision making, forest ecosystem, forest conservation decisions, modeling, socioeconomics, Wildlife Risk Assessment, forest reources, environmental impact comparison, urban habitat fragmentation, wildlife community structure, environmental impact, landscape ecology, birds, forests, GIS, ecological models, habitat alteration, land use, social sciences, land management, decision support tool

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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