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Habitat Suitability

Habitat models allow you to assess the quality of habitat for a species within the study area or a modeled corridor, and serve as the required cost layer for least-cost path and corridor analyses. In GIS, habitat suitability models relate suitability to raster-based layers such as land use/land cover, elevation, topographic position, human disturbance (e.g. distance from roads, road density, housing density, etc), or other important factor available as a GIS layer. We refer to these raster layers as factors. Within each factor, there are several to many classes. For instance, the factor land cover may include classes such as juniper woodland, desert scrub, and urban land. There are two common ways to build these models: Literature review and expert opinion-based habitat suitability models and Empirical and statistical techniques for estimating habitat suitability.

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