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State Reports - Oregon

Oregon was a pilot Gap Analysis Project and completed its first-generation land cover map in November 1992. In 1994, an upgrade of the vegetation map, based on Landsat TM imagery and using current GAP methods, was begun by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This upgrade will be completed in 1998. The 1992 map and its manual are now available on the Gap Analysis World Wide Web home page. During the past year, the Oregon land stewardship data layer has also been upgraded through the efforts of several cooperators (U.S. Forest Service; Oregon Biodiversity Project, Defenders of Wildlife; and Oregon Natural Heritage Program).

A major project of Oregon GAP during 1996-1997, in cooperation with the Biodiversity Research Consortium (BRC) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, has been the completion of a state wildlife atlas. This atlas combines standard Gap Analysis vertebrate species distribution maps with line drawings and accompanying text describing taxonomy, global range, habitat, reproductive biology, food habits, general ecology, and selected references for each species in a one-page format. All species maps were subjected to an additional round of expert review for this publication, adding an extra layer of quality control to our predicted species distributions. The breeding range of each species is shown in the main body of the book, and an appendix contains simplified winter bird distribution maps. The 492-page Atlas of Oregon Wildlife is a hard-cover book published in July 1997 by Oregon State University Press. The book sells for $39.95 through commercial outlets; however, a 20% discount is available for government agencies.

The last year also saw publication of a paper using the Oregon BRC/GAP vertebrate distribution data set to examine the properties of various types of site selection algorithms (Biological Conservation 80:83-97). This work was carried out as a collaborative effort of laboratories in Australia (New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service), the United Kingdom (Natural History Museum and Institute of Zoology, London), and the U.S. (University of Cincinnati and Oregon State University). Nineteen different algorithms, falling into five broad categories, were compared. This paper complements earlier work carried out by our co-authors, Robert L. Pressey in Australia, and Paul H. Williams and Melanie Kershaw in the United Kingdom. Because the vertebrate data were still undergoing review, we caution that the spatial solutions presented do not represent our selection of priority areas for conservation. However, a follow-up analysis, sponsored by the BRC, is under way with reviewed data that should allow us to identify potential sets of complementary areas in Oregon in which we predict most or all unprotected vertebrates would be represented. This analysis will follow the model published by A. Ross Kiester and others in Conservation Biology (10:1332-1342, 1996). The Oregon Natural Heritage Program has assumed responsibilities for completion of the OR-GAP update. Final reporting is anticipated in early 1999 and will be followed by aggressive outreach and extension efforts.

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