2014.11.17  Wildlife Infrastructure

Building wildlife resiliency into the design paradigm for urban landscapes is important to ensuring that critical human infrastructure and wildlife infrastructure operate as a synchronized system. Critical infrastructure typically refers to electricity generation, gas production and distribution, telecommunication, water supply, etc. However, a carefully constructed overlay of regional wildlife infrastructure is crucial in designing a solution where human resource conveyance can work in tandem with wildlife migration trajectories and habitation patterns. Current urban development essentially push wildlife to the periphery, leaving behind traces of habitat fragmentation that can result in detrimental conditions for species migration. With the exception of isolated occurrences of wildlife corridors, there exists no overarching connectivity to allow for a network of wildlife movement at a regional scale. The response should be geared toward using our urban project sites to catalyze the development of this network. The fellowship focused on acquiring regionally specific sources (used and created by professional organizations and agencies, online databases, etc.) linked to wildlife data sets that yield information about the ecosystems containing potential project sites. A digital data source library was designed in the form of an interactive infographic cataloging these sources into an organized collection for the efficient extraction of data. Avian data was the focus for the library’s first phase, as birds are a keystone species indicating the growth of healthy ecosystems.