Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.01.007
Title (Primary) Between ecological theory and planning practice: (Re-) Connecting forest patches for the wildcat in Lower Saxony, Germany
Author Klar, N.; Herrmann, M.; Henning-Hahn, M.; Pott-Doerfer, B.; Hofer, H.; Kramer-Schadt, S.
Journal Landscape and Urban Planning
Year 2012
Department OESA
Volume 105
Issue 4
Page From 376
Page To 384
Language englisch
Keywords European wildcat; Felis silvestris; Least-cost algorithm; Corridor network; GIS; Land use planning

To counteract the threat of habitat loss and fragmentation for wildlife in Europe, planning processes need to incorporate basic requirements of wildlife populations. In several regions in Germany, the expansion of the wildcat (Felis silvestris, Schreber 1777) population is hindered by fragmented habitat and anthropogenic barriers. We developed a corridor plan for Lower Saxony, Germany, that can be used as a protocol for guiding species restoration to reconnect fragmented habitat patches based on a statistical habitat selection model. The model was transferred directly into a cost surface and we used least-cost path models to find the best potential corridors leading from source areas towards the north and connecting existing populations. We evaluated the habitat model and corridors with a dataset of more than 800 cases of wildcat sightings and road kills within the study area. 9500 km2 of the area of Lower Saxony were identified as suitable wildcat habitat, of which only one third is populated by wildcats at the moment. Wildcat sightings and casualties were significantly more often near potential corridors identified by the least-cost path model than elsewhere. With the wildcat corridor network proposed here, areas can be defined which should have a high priority to be kept in a natural state as an aim of land use plans, which should be improved where necessary and where mitigation measures should be concentrated. We give practical advice on how to optimise and implement corridors for the purpose of land use planning.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Klar, N., Herrmann, M., Henning-Hahn, M., Pott-Doerfer, B., Hofer, H., Kramer-Schadt, S. (2012):
Between ecological theory and planning practice: (Re-) Connecting forest patches for the wildcat in Lower Saxony, Germany
Landsc. Urban Plan. 105 (4), 376 - 384