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  • The Species: Canada lynx and American marten are 'umbrella species' in Maine’s woods — managing for their habitat needs would help meet the needs of 85 percent of the forest’s other vertebrates. © University of Maine and TNC
  • Lynx thrive within regenerating spruce-fir forests that are about 16-40 years old — the habitat of choice for their primary prey, snowshoe hares. In Maine, this habitat exists primarily as a result of intense historical cutting, but the forests grow beyond prime lynx habitat about 35-40 years after harvest. © Angela Fuller
  • American martens thrive in dense forests with mature trees that are 30-ft tall and higher. They also need connectivity to travel through treetops and avoid their primary competitor, the fisher. © Bill Silliker/TNC
  • The Technology: Landsat satellites detect and record the reflectivity of different land cover and forest types, providing information that can be used to identify habitat conditions for a variety of species across an entire landscape. The 1988 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image above shows how this technology can be used to identify forest cover and timber harvesting activities. © University of Maine
  • This satellite imagery can be applied to identify harvest locations and even to gauge the intensity of harvests. The above images separate ‘heavy’ (clear cut or heavy partial harvest) and ‘light’ (light partial harvest) harvests. This information helps map suitable habitat for lynx and marten, the ‘umbrella species.’ © University of Maine
  • The technology has been applied over a 4-million-acre area in Northern Maine by the Maine Image Analysis Laboratory (University of Maine), providing a better understanding of the broad-scale harvest trends since 1975. The map above indicates harvest years for specific locations across the landscape over the past 32 years and provides a wealth of information for biologists and land managers. © University of Maine
  • These historical harvest patterns have been cross-referenced with past and current forest cover conditions, allowing scientists to describe current forest conditions based on past harvest patterns and model future conditions under alternative management scenarios. The opportunity now exists to consider the cumulative results of forest management across the entire region. © University of Maine
  • Extensive ground-truthing has validated this technology’s ability to detect conditions on the ground. The extensive on-the-ground data the Conservancy has collected since purchasing the St. John River forest contributed to this effort. © University of Maine
  • The technology offers individual landowners a close-up of their property’s past disturbance history. The Nature Conservancy is working with the University of Maine research team to analyze image sets for the Conservancy’s St. John River Forest. The above maps illustrate initial estimates of lynx and marten habitat within the property. Using this data, the Conservancy will develop land management plans that optimize habitat for both lynx and marten. © University of Maine
  • The above chart shows American marten habitat trends in the Conservancy’s St. John River Forest. The research indicates that marten habitat has been in decline during the study period. These trends are the result of intense cutting that occurred prior to the Conservancy’s ownership. © University of Maine
  • The above chart shows Canada lynx habitat trends in the Conservancy’s St. John River Forest. The research indicates that lynx habitat has increased during the study period. These trends are the result of intense cutting that occurred prior to the Conservancy’s ownership. © University of Maine
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