LASmoons: Chris Dunn

Chris Dunn (recipient of three LASmoons)
University of New England, Australia
School of Environmental & Rural Science

Background:
Pseudomys oralis, commonly known as the Hastings River Mouse (HRM), is a native Australian rodent with a patchy current distribution throughout north-east New South Wales (NSW) and south-east Queensland (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change [DECC], 2005). Its preferred habitat is known to include continuous ground vegetation cover no more than 50-75cm in height (DECC, 2005). HRM is currently listed as Endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, and under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (DECC, 2005). A major issue negatively impacting the recovery of this species is that existing habitat models are broad scale and were not designed for use at the finer scales at which they are currently being used in threatened species management.

lasmoons_chris_dunn_0

Goal:
The aim of this project is to assess the efficancy of utilising LiDAR data to develop a more spatially detailed and accurate HRM habitat model that would facilitate more targeted and efficient management of the species in the future. The primary variable will be understorey vegetation height, and areas where this height is less than 0.7m will be classed as potential habitat. The effect of slope and distance to water course (both derived from DEM) will also be considered.

Data:
+
165 square kilometres of LiDAR data covering Styx River State Forest in north-east NSW, Australia.
+ average point density: 3.37 points per square metre.

LAStools processing:
1) 
Merge, re-tile, and compress source LAS with lastile
2)
Normalise re-tiled LAZ with lasheight
3)
Calculate percentage of LiDAR returns in 0.1 to 0.7m height bin with lascanopy -d
4)
Derive DEM with las2dem
5)
Overlay HRM and veg height survey point data on raster layers derived above in ArcGIS and determine threshold values for PLR/slope/distance to water course

References:
NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC). (2005). Recovery Plan for the Hastings River Mouse (Pseudomys oralis)

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