GIS-Based Fish and Wildlife Decision Support Tool

The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department uses tools based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify and prioritize areas which provide maximum ecological benefits given the investment of conservation dollars.

GIS allows for the analysis and integration of multiple data sets to assist with planning. These 'layers' of data include fish and wildlife distribution, environmental factors, and social factors such as land cost, ownership, and zoning.
Key Objectives and Uses
Program staff and partners are developing and refining GIS tools to:
  • Identify native fish and wildlife Species of Local Conservation Interest (SLCI)
  • Identify critical habitats important to ensuring the survival of native fish and wildlife, especially SLCI's
  • Guide habitat enhancement projects for maximum economic and ecological value
Using the Tool
The Tool is a set of GIS-based models addressing the role of wetland protection and restoration within the larger context of landscape-based fish and wildlife habitat conservation.   The Tool utilizes concepts and techniques based on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' GIS wildlife tools and data collection methods.  The end products include maps which display information used to advance conservation planning in Ozaukee County.   The map below demonstrates a Tool output - multiple data layers combined to reveal and rank wildlife habitat areas.  A higher Habitat Quality Index (HQI) score suggests higher potential of support for Species of Local Conservation Interest (SLCI).  

The Tool's identification of high HQI areas along Mole Creek and Ulao Creek helped to initiate and support habitat enhancement projects at these sites. 
gis wildlife tool map 2