Authors / Researchers: Caroline Honan and Sara Beck

Project Adviser: Dr. Jack Hopkins

Title: Evaluating Wildlife Habitat Connectors in the Unity Township

Abstract: Habitat modeling has been produced to predict viable crossing locations for a combination of amphibian, reptilian, and mammalian species of interest. These species are highly impacted by habitat fragmentation both directly through road collisions and indirectly through habitat loss. This study uses a combination of field survey methods and GIS analysis in order to continue assessing the validity of the current habitat model at predicting wildlife crossings in Maine. Additionally, the compilation of findings has been used to base suggestions upon a new prediction model.Through roadkill surveys, wildlife crossing surveys, and road ecology surveys, this multifaceted analysis looks to determine hotspots of wildlife travel and determine which physical attributes of the roadways and surrounding environment have the greatest impact on the probability of a road crossing. A combination of the fall 2019 and spring 2020 field season findings has provided surveyors with over 30 failed crossings (roadkills) and 40 successful crossings. In combination with Maine 43 DOT collision locations within the Unity township, road ecology surveying of coordinates will lead to the prediction of more precise modeling practice for the prediction of wildlife crossings.