Spatio-temporal challenges in representing wildlife disturbance within a GIS

Wood, Greg and Whyatt, James Duncan and Hackett, David and Stevens, Carly Joanne (2017) Spatio-temporal challenges in representing wildlife disturbance within a GIS. Environmental Technology and Innovation, 7. pp. 44-53. ISSN 2352-1864

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Assessing the potential environmental impacts of disturbance on protected species during and after the development process is a legislative requirement in most nations. However, the restrictions that this legislation places on developers are often based on limited ecological understanding, over-simplified methodologies, less-than-robust data and the subjective interpretations of field ecologists. Consequently, constraints may be imposed with no transparent methodology behind them to the frustration of, and occasionally large expense to, developers. Additionally, protected species numbers continue to decline and biodiversity continues to be threatened. This paper describes a GIS conceptual model for assessing ecological disturbance vulnerability, based upon a case study development in Scotland. First, uncertainties in traditional methods of recording and representing ecological features with GIS are reviewed such that they may be better accounted for in the disturbance model. Second, by incorporating temporal fluctuations in ecological behaviour into the disturbance susceptibility concept, it is argued that it is possible to synchronise development with conservation requirements. Finally, a method is presented to account for disturbance tolerances at the scale of the individual animal. It is anticipated that this model will enable environmental impact assessors to produce more robust analyses of wildlife disturbance risk and facilitate synchronisation between development and wildlife vulnerability to minimise disturbance and better avoid delays to the works programme.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Technology and Innovation
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environmental Technology & Innovation. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environmental Technology & Innovation, 7, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.eti.2016.12.003
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? ecological disturbancedevelopment sitesprotected speciesgis representationecological networkstemporal ecologygeneral environmental sciencesoil scienceplant scienceenvironmental science(all) ??
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Deposited On:
27 Jan 2017 11:14
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 10:22