Using a Riparian Corridor Index to Prioritize Climate Migration Routes in the Pacific Northwest

Habitat suitability in the Pacific Northwest has shifted over the last century forcing organisms to move along climate gradients in order to track the same temperature regime. Riparian habitats have long been cited as a means to facilitate movement of species along these corridors because their microclimates are cooler compared to surrounding areas. Restoring all riparian zones without characterization may overlook some corridors that differ in quality and protection status. The riparian corridor index was created by the University of Washington to help managers decide where to best focus their actions while also identifying the best areas for conservation. The index values were found by calculating flow direction, accumulation, length.