Wildlife connectivity potential for New Brunswick forests
University of New Brunswick
The majority of New Brunswick is forested, with its landscape changing rapidly due to urbanization, agriculture, and forestry. As climate change forces the range shift of species, conservation corridors can support the movement of flora and fauna throughout the province. I used 29 forest-dependent vertebrate species as a proxy for New Brunswick fauna and mapped their most-likely movement pathways using least-cost path modelling and Circuitscape. I then ran a gap analysis on calcareous and alkaline fens to explore if vertebrate corridors could support non-vagile species. My study indicates that (1) vertebrate corridors in conjunction with the current protected area network would benefit many forest-dependent species, and (2) could support flora range shifts in tandem with assisted colonization.