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    Habitat protection for grassland birds is an important component of open space land acquisition in suburban Chicago. We use optimization decision models to develop recommendations for land protection and analyze tradeoffs between alternative goals. One goal is to acquire (and restore if necessary) as much grassland habitat as possible for a given budget. Because a viable habitat for grassland birds consists of a relatively large core area with additional parcels of grassland habitat nearby, the second goal is to minimize total pairwise distance between newly protected parcels and large existing reserves. We also use the concept of an effective grassland habitat area, which considers influences that neighboring land covers have on grassland habitat suitability. We analyze how the parcels selected for protection change as total protected effective area is traded off against total distance.

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    Snyder, Stephanie A.; Miller, James R.; Skibbe, Adam M.; Haight, Robert G. 2007. Habitat acquisition strategies for grassland birds in an urbanizing landscape. Environmental Management. 40: 981-992.


    open space, optimization, reserve design, site selection, urbanization

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