Habitat Modeling (HSI) and Constraint Mapping
Habitat models allow the practitioner to assess and quantify the habitat availability for a given species to support management decisions. These models can also support multi-species decision making when trade-offs may be required. A common approach is to evaluate and break up the available habitat into suitability classes. These models are typically built into a geographic information system (GIS) platform to support spatial analysis and mapping requirements.
Constraints planning can be used to guide the placement of disturbances on a landscape. The purpose of constraint-based planning is to reduce or minimize environmental impacts and to identify areas of high or low sensitivity. Areas of high constraint occur when there is greater potential for environmental impact or for the occurrence of high value natural resources (e.g. species at risk or traditional use areas). Maps can be developed and used as a basis for regulator/public/stakeholder discussions and for gathering feedback.