This presentation is part of the Cape Perpetua Speaker Series, hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative.
As human changes to the landscape increase throughout Oregon, there is a critical need to identify and protect the habitats wildlife use to move, to access food, water, shelter, and opportunities to reproduce, to disperse into new territories, and to adapt to a changing climate. The Oregon Connectivity Assessment and Mapping Project (OCAMP) aims to link landscapes for wildlife by identifying current wildlife habitat connectivity throughout the state for a wide diversity of species, representing a variety of taxa, movement types, dispersal capabilities, and sensitivity to anthropogenic threats. These species’ connectivity models will then be complied to highlight priority wildlife corridors for all species in Oregon, and the targeted conservation actions needed to preserve them. This talk will highlight the growing need for information on wildlife connectivity in Oregon, and the multi-year, collaborative effort working to keep Oregon’s wildlife moving.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Rachel Wheat serves as the Wildlife Connectivity Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Her background is in quantitative spatial statistics and spatial modeling of wildlife movement and habitat. Prior to coming to Oregon, Rachel worked as a postdoctoral research associate with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation on the spatial ecology of moose, white-tailed deer, and coyotes in upstate New York. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with work focused on the movement and behavioral ecology of bald eagles and brown bears in Alaska. Rachel is based out of the agency’s headquarters in Salem, Oregon.