After months of collaboration with Guillermo Duran, AEP’s GIS Administrator, GISCORPS volunteers Josh Garver of Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Ohio, and Emily Cheadle of the town of Babylon Department of Planning and Development in New York have digitized the streams of Azuero!
The streams network created by GISCORPS volunteers will form a key part of the Azuero Earth Project’s database of conservation priorities because most of the small and isolated forest patches in the Azuero landscape are in the riparian zones adjacent to creeks and rivers on the peninsula.
The Azuero Earth Project’s goals of creating habitat for wildlife and increasing habitat connectivity on the peninsula are supported by the data contributed by Emily and Josh through their GISCORPS volunteer service. Riparian forest areas are some of the last remaining habitat for the critically endangered Azuero Spider Monkey, a subspecies endemic to the peninsula. With the streams layer and a forest cover dataset that AEP is currently working on, it will be possible to identify the streams that have been most affected by deforestation, and in this way focus efforts to work with landowners who have the most degraded lands or whose lands form critical linkages for habitat connectivity.
The work Emily and Josh performed with GISCORPS will serve as a resource layer that will allow visiting students and researchers to build upon their work to further study the ecology and environmental issues on the peninsula.
For more information about the GIS project , contact Guillermo Duran at Guillermo@proecoazuero.org.