Wildlife Habitat Mapping

Using Local Expertise for Habitat Data

Our Partnership

Wildlife habitat data is essential for conservation-based decision making. With that in mind, we worked to explore the potential of using volunteered geographic information (VGI) to gather insight into wildlife living habits. Working in collaboration with scholars from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, along with other academic and community partners, we gathered the research and ingenuity necessary to generate crucial data for conservation efforts.

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About the Project

With wildlife habitat mapping as such a crucial component of many conservation-related decisions, it was essential that we worked to get the most accurate information possible. To that end, we worked to explore the use of VGI as part of that process. An area's locals often encounter wildlife on a daily basis, and those sightings, along with those recorded by nature reserve administrations, helped form a basis for developing comprehensive habitat data. 

While these types of sightings can suffer from shortcomings in accuracy caused by issues like spatial bias and positional uncertainty, we believe that integrating this data helped overcome these issues. 

Our initial case study took place in Yunnan, China, where we mapped habitat suitability for the black-and-white snub-nosed monkey based on these methods. 

Discover Research at DU

Guiming Zhang

An assistant professor of Geographic Information Science at DU's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Guiming Zhang holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), Spatial Analysis, and High-Performance Geo-computing, and he is a member of the American Association of Geographers and the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences.