Habitat Evaluation

Habitat Evaluation

Northwest Habitat Institute (NHI) has employed the Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols (CHAP) habitat evaluation method on the San Juan Creek project area (which includes sections of San Juan Creek, Trabuco Creek, and Oso Creek) to determine baseline habitat value for the site. The project area was analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software and high resolution aerial photography of the area to divide the project into habitat evaluation polygons based on differences in wildlife habitat type and/or differences in structural conditions. A field visit followed where polygon boundaries were further refined and validated. Field data accounting for each polygon includes: dominant plant species and amounts of invasive species for the tree, shrub and herbaceous layers; structural conditions; and key environmental correlates (KECs). A potential species list of all fish and wildlife for the project area has been developed from the California Wildlife Habitat Relationships database and then refined by the habitat evaluation team along with local observations and literature. The next step will be to relate the field data and species list to the Interactive Biodiversity Information System (IBIS) to obtain functional habitat values measured in Habitat Units (HUs) for each polygon. CHAP is spatially based, and a series of maps are then produced summarizing the results using GIS. Values have been run and a small report for a project sponsor has been completed for a section of Trabuco Creek within the project area.

San Juan Creek Location CHAP Habitat Evaluation