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KansasNaturalResourcePlanner/TerrestrialEcologicalFocusAreas (MapServer)

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Service Description: Terrestrial EFAs were designed using several data layers including large natural areas from the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT), landscape connectivity (also from the CHAT), portfolio sites identified by The Nature Conservancy, landcover, potential high-quality forest, high-quality natural communities, ecoregions, physiographic provinces, and locations of SGCN.EFAs have been designed to be compatible with the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) developed in cooperation with the Western Governor’s Association. CHAT is an online system of maps that displays crucial wildlife habitat based on commonly agreed upon definitions developed by the Western Governor's Wildlife Council across 16 western states. The CHAT provides a high-level, coarse-scale overview of crucial habitat for pre-planning on a wide variety of development projects across the West and is designed to reduce conflicts and surprises while ensuring wildlife values are better incorporated into land use planning. The SWAP and CHAT are similar tools designed to protect the state’s biodiversity using data inputs such as locations of sensitive species and native habitats. 2.5km hexagons were used to characterize other data layers used to identify and delineate terrestrial EFAs. Although EFAs have been selected for the purpose of concentrating conservation measures, conservation actions should not be limited to EFAs if opportunities arise in other areas. Areas not in an EFA may still provide conservation opportunities and merit. The following data layers were used as inputs in the development of terrestrial EFAs:1. CHAT large natural areas: This dataset was calculated from the NatureServe Landscape Integrity Model as a way to identify large areas that were relatively intact or have low levels of anthropogenic impacts. A minimum size was set at 1,000 hectares, but the threshold for “impacted” varied by ecodivisions to account for regional differences. Landscape condition is a measure of land cover impacted by human activities associated with ecological stressors. The Wildlife Council’s Landscape Integrity Workgroup used a NatureServe landscape condition model to identify Large Natural Areas and Important Connectivity Zones.2. CHAT connectivity: The Landscape Integrity workgroup of the CHAT produced a West-wide dataset on Important Connectivity Zones which represents buffered landscape pathways connected to core habitats of Large Natural Areas. Landscape connectivity describes ease of movement for fish and wildlife based on species-specific habitat preferences and behavior. Well-connected habitats provide for higher quality ecological and biological processes.3. TNC portfolio sites: This layer was derived from Ecoregional Assessments conducted by The Nature Conservancy and its partners to identify areas of biodiversity significance and prioritize conservation action.4. 2005 land cover patterns – Level I: This dataset was developed by the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program at the Kansas Biological Survey using imagery from the Landsat 5 satellite. The percent of natural vegetation (grassland or forest) within a procedural hexagon was calculated from the 11 cover types mapped.5. Potential high-quality forest: This layer was developed by the Kansas Biological Survey by intersecting forest cover from the 2005 Land Cover Patterns layer with the Kansas Historic Forest layer derived from GLO plat maps created in the 1850s and 1860s. Currently forested areas that were forested prior to Euro-American settlement were considered potential highquality forest. Much of the area included in EFAs has been determined to be of high quality from field survey.6. High-quality natural communities: This layer was developed through field surveys conducted primarily by the Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory. Comprehensive natural area surveys have been conducted in only seven counties in northeast Kansas so the layer is of limited usefulness outside this region. It was used to develop the Tallgrass Prairies EFA.7. Locations of SGCN: This layer includes observation data from the Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory, the Kansas herpetological and mammal atlases maintained by the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, and KDWPT databases. Records more than 40 years old were not used to eliminate the possibility of including in EFAs areas that no longer provide suitable habitat. Comprehensive surveys for most SGCN have not been conducted and data on the distribution of many SGCN is lacking and therefore insufficient for identifying priority areas.8. Spatial priorities developed by partners were used to develop EFAs where appropriate. Layers showing the priority areas for the following entities were evaluated: The Nature Conservancy, Playa Lakes Joint Venture, Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment, and Kansas Forest Service.

Map Name: Kansas Ecological Focus Areas

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Layers: Description: Kansas' State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), previously known as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan, provides a comprehensive vision for managing Kansas' fish, wildlife, and wildlife habitats. A major focus of the 2015 revision of the SWAP was the development of geographically explicit areas in which to address conservation issues. These areas, referred to as Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), represent aquatic and terrestrial landscapes where conservation actions can be applied for maximum benefit to all Kansas wildlife. Each EFA includes a suite of SGCN and priority habitats and a unique set of conservation actions designed to address the specific resource concerns facing these species and habitats. Each EFA also includes one or more protected areas that can serve as demonstration sites for conservation actions.

Copyright Text: Rohweder, M.R. December 2015. Kansas Wildlife Action Plan. Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in cooperation with the Kansas Biological Survey. 176 pp.

Spatial Reference: 102100  (3857)


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