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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Geographic Information Systems Conservationists can organize their geographical data usingGIS. Then, they can overlay different data sets which allows conservationists to better visualize the patterns in their data.These visuals and GIS analysis tools enable conservationists to: (GIS) What is GIS? GIS is interactive mapping software that allows people to store, visualize, manipulate, interpret, and analyze the trends and patterns in spatial and geographical data. GIS as a Conservation Tool What are the Weaknesses of GIS? GIS In Action What Are The Strengths of GIS? Manatee Conservation Understand Habitat Use Explore Trends in Biodiversity Explore Population Trends Track Wildlife Distribution Model Conservation Solutions Monitor Conservation Changes and Progress Manage Resources During aerial surveys, researchers collect geographical positioning data on the number of manatees per location in South West Florida. Researchers upload this data into GIS software. Researchers analyze their data from multiple surveys using GPS overlaycapabilities to better understand seasonal manatee distribution, manatee habitat use, population trends, and areas of human/manatee conflict. References: Manatee Research. (n.d.). MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Retrieved from https://mote.org/research/program/manatee-research/manatee-research-program-current-projects Semeyn, D. J., Cush, C.C., Scolardi, K. M., Hebert, J., McBride J. D., Grealish D., & Reynolds, J. E. (2011).Aerial surveys of manatees (Trichechus manatus) in Lee County, Florida, provide insights regarding manatee abundance and real time information for managers and enforcement officers. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 15 , 573-583. doi: 10.1007/s11852-011-0146-3 What is GIS? (n.d.). esri. Retrieved from http://www.esri.com/what-is-gis GIS for Conservation. (n.d.). esri. Retrieved from http://www.esri.com/industries/conservation ("GIS For Conservation", n.d.) ("What is GIS?", n.d.) (Semeyn et. al., 2011) (Semeyn et. al., 2011, p. 8) Researchers then use information learnedfrom this to help law enforcement and wildlife managers to reduce manatee fatalities due to watercraft-related incidents. Geographical Modeling to Determine Conservation Areas Brambilla M., Casale F., Bergero V., Crovetto, G. M., Falco, R., Negri, I., Siccardi P., Bogliani, G., (2009). GIS-models work well, but are not enough: Habitat preferences of Lanius collurio at multiple levels and conservation implications. Biological Conservation, 142 (10), 20332042. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.03.033 Conservationists interested in this tool often participate in several training sessions in order to best understand how to use this program and its features for their desired goals. Therefore, there is a large time investment to become familiar with the tool. ("What is GIS?", n.d.) GIS In: Pros and Cons GIS can only provide a researcher with a map as detailed or coarse as the data that was inputted into the program. For example, if data is collected during an aerial survey, the map will not provide as fine results than if the data was collected during a boat survey. Therefore, depending on their goal, researchers may need to collect more detailed data to improve the accuracy. (Brambilla et. al., 2009) GIS is not limited to a single use. The many capabilities allow this tool to be utilized for a variety of conservation projects and purposes from looking at wildlife distribution to creating sustainability models. ("What is GIS?", n.d.) GIS allows researchers to visualize large quantities of spatial and geographical data sets simultaneously to analyze and understand how they relate to one another. Santos, X., Brito, J. C., Sillero, N., Pleguezuelos, J. M., Llorente, G. A., Fahd, S., Parellada, X., (2006). Inferring habitat-suitability areas with ecological modelling techniques and GIS: A contribution to assess the conservation status of Vipera latastei. Elsevier Science, 130 (3), 415-425. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2006.01.003 (Santos et. al., 2006, p. 421) (Santos et. al., 2006) Due to their elusive nature and small population sizes, there is little known about the snub-nose viper (Vipera latasteri). However, snakes with similar characteristics are often at a high risk for extinction. In order to preserve this species, there is a need to understand its conservation status to choose conservation priority areas. Using the GIS analysis and overlay capabilities, Researchers compared current species distribution data to current Iberian Peninsula habitat factors including: altitude, slope, average precipitation, average surface runoff, average temperature, vegetation, other viper species, landscape transformation, and human population density. Researchers use these comparisons to understand the habitat conditions that snub-nose vipers prefer. Researchers use this new understanding of habitat preference to create models of suitable habitats of snub-nose vipers. Researchers can use these models to identify conservation priority areas for the snub-nose viper and other species.
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