California Essential Habitat Connectivity Project

California map showing connected wildlife habitat

California Essential Habitat Connectivity Project: A Strategy for Conserving a Connected California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) commissioned a team of consultants to produce a statewide assessment of essential habitat connectivity by February of 2010, using the best available science, data sets, spatial analyses and modeling techniques.

The goal was to identify large remaining blocks of intact habitat or natural landscape and model linkages between them that need to be maintained, particularly as corridors for wildlife.

Over sixty federal, state, local, tribal and non-governmental organizations collaborated in the creation of :

  1. A statewide wildlife habitat connectivity map using a Geographic Information System (GIS) based modeling approach;
  2. An assessment of the biological value of identified connectivity areas; and
  3. A strategic plan that helps varied end users interpret and use the statewide map and outlines a methodology necessary for completing connectivity analyses at finer spatial scales.


Geographic Information System (GIS) Data

  • BIOS Web Site, with links to view the GIS layers in an online map viewer and download the GIS data.

Final Report

Support Materials

A functional network of connected wildlands is essential to the continued support of California's diverse natural communities in the face of both human development and climate change. Results will be used with California Wildlife: Conservation Challenges, California's Wildlife Action Plan; the California Climate Adaptation Strategy; and large-scale, multi-species conservation plans such as Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCPs) and Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs).

The maps and data will also be used to integrate natural resource considerations into transportation and land use planning processes such as the California Transportation Plan and Regional Blueprints.

Agency Contacts

Ron Unger
CDFW Habitat Conservation Planning Branch

Amy Bailey
CalTrans Division of Environmental Analysis