Use ArcGIS Pro to save mountain lions in Southern California

Southern California, although brimming with roads and people, includes mountainous areas that serve as sanctuaries for a surprisingly diverse array of wildlife.

Among them are mountain lions — alternatively known as cougars and panthers — who risk life while stalking prey and mates amid the freeways that cross-cut their habitats.

The solution is man-made. According to KNBC in Los Angeles,  property has already been purchased for a vegetated corridor spanning the always-busy US 101 Freeway northwest of the city. Overpass plans are ongoing. Construction is years away. When completed, the overpass will enable mountain lions to safely reach new hunting grounds and mates.

But is that proposed corridor the best one?

GIS users can decide for themselves because Learn ArcGIS has a new ArcGIS Pro lesson, Build A Model to Connect Mountain Lion Habitat. This lesson gives users the same opportunity as professional planners to conduct the analysis needed to save the mountain lions from possible extinction.

As part of the lesson, users will examine the mountain lion’s habitat, transform data into map layers, build a corridor model, and finally, evaluate the results.

By successfully identifying the most beneficial locations for corridors, users could help the mountain lions escape extinction by increasing their hunting and breeding opportunities.

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