The Landscape Prioritization Model of Roadside Habitat for Monarchs analyzes and combines factors related to monarch habitat suitability along roadways. The model helps roadside rights-of-way managers assess how the roads in their state relate to landscape-scale factors affecting monarch habitat quality.
The Landscape Prioritization Model may be used in several ways:
- To locate areas where roadside habitat may complement high-functioning surrounding habitats.
- To identify places where roadside habitat could be developed as a habitat corridor in areas where the landscape provides little monarch habitat.
- To compare roadsides within a given area using the roadside suitability index.
- To select sample locations for surveys of monarch habitat within roadside rights-of-ways across roadside suitability index values.
- If used in conjunction with manual surveys of rights-of-way with the Rapid Assessment of Roadside Habitat for Monarchs tool, the model can help target roads with high suitability index values but low actual habitat quality scores for enhancement through altered management.
The model is downloaded as a .zip drive containing the model’s code and relevant source data. To open the model, the user must access the uncompressed folder in ArcGIS and open the ArcGIS Python Toolbox within. The user must provide the land cover (USDA Cropland Data Layer) and road data layers (USGS National Roads Dataset), as well as a study area of interest, as specified in the Model User-Interface section below. The user can substitute state-specific road data for traffic volume, right-of-way (ROW) width, and speed limits to improve the model’s accuracy by replacing the generalized metrics derived from the USGS National Roads Dataset.