GIS-based modelling to predict potential habitats for black stork (Ciconia nigra) in Sweden

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

Abstract: The black stork (Ciconia nigra L.) was lost from the Swedish fauna in the 1950’s. An increased understanding of the need to save endangered species has led to restoration or preservation of populations through reintroductions. To have background information about a species’ habitat requirements is important for introduction programs. A habitat model can be used to predict the requirements of the species, and provide suggestions for areas suitable for reintroduction. In this study, a Geographical Information System (GIS) is used to create a model to identify suitable habitats for a potential reintroduction project of black stork in Sweden. The geographical extent in the analysis was limited to the former distribution range of black stork in the southern part of Sweden. My results indicate several suitable black stork habitats in all counties included in the analysis, except the Baltic Sea Island of Gotland. Seven counties contained more than 18 % suitable habitats in relation to the total area of each county. I suggest that these areas should be the primary target areas for black stork reintroduction to Sweden.

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