The interaction of climate change and human development will likely strongly influence habitat area, fragmentation, and connectivity for native wildlife species. Increasing human population nationally and regional not only fuel urban development, but also affect land use conversions generally, leading to rapid habitat loss and fragmentation due to conversion of natural landscapes to uses dominated by human activities. Simultaneously, climate change is expected to drive large-scale shifts in ecological conditions, and geographic shifts in vegetation types. The interaction of these two major ecological stressors will likely result in complex patterns of habitat loss and fragmentation for many native wildlife species. Predicting the synergistic effects of multiple ecosystem stressors at broad geographical scales on habitat area, fragmentation and connectivity is critical to informed management and perseveration of healthy, functioning and intact ecosystems. Our work is (1) estimating genetic diversity, population fragmentation and corridor network under current climate and landuse/road network patterns across the multiple study areas across the western United States for a selection of wildlife species of conservation concern; (2) predicting changes to genetic diversity, fragmentation, and corridors for these species under future scenarios involving a combination of climate change, urban development and road network expansion; (3) identifying key geographical locations that are most important to maintaining population connectivity for each focal species; and (4) developing spatially explicit strategies for maintaining population connectivity for the focal species under future climate and development patterns.
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