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Environmental planning in Florida: Mapping wildlife needs in Florida: the integrated wildlife habitat ranking system


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is responsible for performing environmental reviews of major land developments in Florida that impact fish and wildlife resources and their habitat. In an effort to improve the efficiency and accuracy of these assessments, and to improve the coordination between agencies, the FWC developed a GIS-based habitat model that incorporates a wide variety of land cover, and wildlife species data. The Integrated Wildlife Habitat Ranking System ranks the Florida landscape based upon the needs of wildlife as a way to identify ecologically significant lands in the state, and to assess the potential impacts of land development projects. The IWHRS is provided as an ArcView (ESRI, Redlands, CA) project on a compact disc, which includes the results of the model, all of the data layers that went into the model, a wide variety of wildlife species location data, and a Florida landcover image. By using the capabilities of GIS, users can perform specific queries and investigations of the model results, the data layers that comprise the model, and the additional data provided on the CD, enhancing the utility of the model.

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