This project employed Geographic Information System (GIS)
applications and modeling software to generate maps of the
potential habitats for 55 species of freshwater fish known to occur
in Florida's panhandle region.
North America contains the greatest temperate freshwater
biodiversity on Earth. However, this diversity is disappearing at
an alarming rate. Modeling potential species habitat is an
increasingly important tool for conservation, for invasive species
management, and for climate change research. This project employed
Geographic Information System (GIS) applications and DesktopGARP to
generate maps of the potential habitats for 55 species of
freshwater fish known to occur in Florida's panhandle region.
DesktopGARP is a software package for biodiversity and ecologic
research that allows the user to predict and analyze wild species
distributions. DesktopGARP was used to search for non-random
associations between 20 environmental characteristics of places
where fish species are known to occur versus those of the overall
study region. The environmental characteristics used included
measures of land use and land cover, stream size, location within
the drainage network, flow, relative gradient, and sinuosity.
These maps will be valuable in increasing the long-term capacity
for conservation and management of multiple freshwater fish and
invertebrate species, aid in decision-making regarding water and
surrounding land acquisitions, aid in monitoring species and
habitats, and aid in the coordination and integration of
conservation efforts at the stream segment, landscape and regional
You may obtain the Florida Freshwater and Tidal Stream Fish
Distribution Mapping: Phase I - Panhandle datasets by downloading
either a 14 MB
archive or a 3 MB pdf version of the final report, by
contacting our Records Technician at GISRequests@MyFWC.com, or
by calling (850) 488-0588.