Criteria for Evaluating Impacts of Development on Wildlife Habitats

Determinations of the habitat values of a particular site can be viewed from the perspective of either individual wildlife species or the wildlife community as a whole. When reviewing development proposals, the habitat values of a site to particular species are most important when species listed as endangered or threatened are present since these species are among our highest conservation priorities. In the absence of listed species, the habitat values of a site to the entire wildlife community assume importance. Major factors which influence the richness of species and abundance of wildlife on a site include habitat type, successional stage, habitat island size, presence or absence of connecting corridors, edge effects, interspersion of various habitat types, and presence of snags or fallen logs. Impacts of development proposals can be assessed by comparing these attributes of a site before and after development.

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