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Layer: CHANJ Stepping Stones (ID: 108)

Name: CHANJ Stepping Stones

Display Field: CHANJ_FEATURE

Type: Feature Layer

Geometry Type: esriGeometryPolygon

Description: Animals need to be able to move through the landscape to find food, mates, and other resources. Without that ability to move, long-term viability of populations is in jeopardy. New Jersey is facing increasing habitat loss and fragmentation from steady urbanization, a dense network of roads, and a changing climate that are compromising the connectivity of habitat and resiliency of wildlife populations. Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) represents a statewide habitat connectivity plan, developed in collaboration with a multi-partner, multi-disciplinary working group representing over 40 different agencies across the state, convened by the ENSP to address the importance of landscape permeability for the persistence of native terrestrial wildlife species. CHANJ mapping identifies core terrestrial wildlife habitat and corridors connecting them across the state, as well as intersecting road segments that serve as road barrier mitigation opportunities. The mapping is based on a naturalness index approach, and utilized core and corridor delineation GIS toolsets, Core Mapper and Linkage Mapper (www.circuitscape.org). Terrestrial species location data were used to inform model parameters and for validation. The Stepping Stones mapping was developed using the same methodology used to develop the CHANJ Cores, but with a smaller minimum threshold area size and are meant to help with connectivity planning by identifying areas within CHANJ Corridors that are more intact than others and may “live in” habitat for smaller, less vagile terrestrial wildlife species. The mapping was developed using raster data (10m grid cell size), and then converted to polygons for the final product.

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