The Oregon Connectivity Assessment and Mapping Project (OCAMP)

Wildlife like these elk face many impediments to movement, including fencing. Photo Credit: NPS

Project Summary

The Oregon Connectivity Assessment and Mapping Project (OCAMP) was a multi-year, collaborative effort to analyze and map statewide wildlife habitat connectivity for Oregon’s wildlife. There has been a critical need to develop connectivity maps for a broad array of Oregon’s wildlife species. Many species rely on the ability to move throughout the landscape to fulfill their daily and seasonal needs for access to food, shelter, and opportunities to reproduce. Human changes to the landscape often restrict the ability of wildlife to move by adding barriers, inducing changes in their behavior, impacting critical migration stopover sites, and increasing habitat fragmentation. Mapping and maintaining habitat important for movement helps protect population connectivity and biodiversity, aiding in the restoration of at-risk species. Providing and conserving habitat connectivity is also a key management strategy to preserve species and ecosystem processes under a changing climate. Historically, efforts to map connected habitat in Oregon were primarily based on expert opinion that insufficiently supported decision-making regarding species’ mobility and habitat connectivity needs.

The OCAMP effort focused on identifying current wildlife habitat connectivity throughout the state for a wide diversity of species. Fifty-four species were selected for the project as surrogates, representing a variety of taxa, movement types, dispersal capabilities, and sensitivity to anthropogenic threats. These species’ connectivity models were compiled to highlight Priority Wildlife Connectivity Areas (PWCAs)– an interconnected network representing the parts of the landscape with the highest overall value for facilitating wildlife movement in Oregon. The PWCAs, as well as other maps and models produced during OCAMP, will aid in statewide planning and prioritization efforts to maintain functional habitat connectivity; help direct on-the-ground efforts for acquisition, restoration, and conservation of habitat for fish and wildlife; inform long-term planning documents for managed lands; guide granting efforts; inform land use development, including expansion of urban growth boundaries, permitting for renewable energy development, and development of sensitive habitats; and aid in mitigating transportation issues, such as identifying areas where wildlife passage structures could best reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.

If you’d like to learn more about the methods applied in developing Priority Wildlife Connectivity Areas, the recording of the Winter 2023 meeting of the OCAMP Stakeholder Committee, below, provides a comprehensive project review. You can find more information about PWCAs here.



OCAMP species were selected using a collaborative process informed by species biologists and conservation practitioners across the state. All modeling occurred across each species’ range. While species were selected to represent specific habitat associations and/or structural habitat characteristics, each species utilizes multiple habitat types, and this is reflected in the habitat and connectivity models.


Species Selected for OCAMP

SpeciesStrategy Species?TaxaSelected to RepresentAssociated Structural Habitat Characteristic(s)Species Range (by Ecoregion)
American BeaverNoMammalWetlandsWoody streamside vegetationCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
American PikaYesMammalAlpine Grasslands and Shrublands/Subalpine Parkland
Broken talusWC, EC, BM, NBR
Bighorn SheepYes (Rocky Mountain Subspecies)MammalDwarf Shrub-steppeAlpine meadows and rocky slopesEC, CP, BM, NBR
Black-tailed DeerNoMammalHabitat GeneralistCR, WV, KM, WC, EC
Black-tailed JackrabbitNoMammalShrub-steppeWV, KM, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Burrowing OwlYesBirdShrub-steppeLow, sparse vegetationCP, BM, NBR
Bushy-tailed WoodratNoMammalConifer-Hardwood ForestsRocky outcropsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Cascades FrogYesAmphibianAlpine Grasslands and Shrublands/Subalpine Parkland
Coastal Tailed FrogYesAmphibianMontane Mixed Conifer Forest
Headwater streamsCR, KM, WC, EC
Columbia Spotted FrogYesAmphibianOpen WaterBM, NBR
CougarNoMammalHabitat GeneralistCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Fender's Blue ButterflyYesInvertebrateGrasslandsFloral resourcesWV
Ferruginous HawkYesBirdShrub-steppe/Dwarf Shrub-steppeEC, CP, BM, NBR
FisherYesMammalMontane Mixed Conifer ForestRequire large-diameter snags/cavity trees for denningCR, KM, WC
Foothill Yellow-legged FrogYesAmphibianSouthwest Oregon Mixed Conifer-Hardwood Forest
Great Gray OwlYesBirdEastside (Interior) Mixed Conifer Forest
Montane meadowsKM, WC, EC, BM
Greater Sage-grouseYesBirdShrub-steppeEC, BM, NBR
Hermit ThrushNoBirdSouthwest Oregon Mixed Conifer-Hardwood Forest
Hoary BatYesMammalEastside (Interior) Riparian-WetlandsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Lazuli BuntingNoBirdEastside (Interior) Riparian WetlandsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Lewis's WoodpeckerYesBirdWestside Oak and Dry Douglas-fir Forest and Woodlands
SnagsKM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Little Brown MyotisNoMammalPonderosa Pine WoodlandsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Long-nosed Leopard LizardNoReptileDesert Playa and Salt Scrub Shrublands
Scattered, sparse vegetation; sandy/gravel substrateNBR
Long-toed SalamanderNoAmphibianHerbaceous WetlandsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
MartenYesMammal Late Successional Mixed Conifer ForestsAssociated with salal layer on coastCR, KM, WC, EC, BM
Morrison's Bumble BeeNoInvertebrateShrub-steppeFloral resourcesEC, NBR
Mountain GoatNoMammalAlpine Grasslands and Shrublands/Subalpine Parkland
Mule DeerNoMammalHabitat GeneralistEC, CP, BM, NBR
North American PorcupineNoMammalAspen WoodlandsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Northern Alligator LizardNoReptileCeanothus-Manzanita Shrublands
Downed woody debris; rock pilesCR, WV, KM, WC
Northern Flying SquirrelNoMammal Late Successional Mixed Conifer ForestsInterconnected canopiesCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, BM
Northern Red-legged FrogYesAmphibian Late Successional Mixed Conifer ForestsAquatic-terrestrial linkageCR, WV, KM, WC
Ord's Kangaroo RatNoMammalShrub-steppeCP, BM, NBR
Oregon Slender SalamanderYesAmphibianWestside Riparian WetlandsLate-seral forestsWC
Pacific-slope FlycatcherNoBird Late Successional Mixed Conifer ForestsComplex canopy layersCR, WV, KM, WC, EC
Pileated WoodpeckerYesBirdSouthwest Oregon Mixed Conifer-Hardwood Forest
SnagsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC, BM
PronghornNoMammalShrub-steppeEC, CP, BM, NBR
Purple MartinYesBirdWestside Lowlands Conifer-Hardwood ForestEarly seral habitats; snagsCR, WV, KM, WC
Pygmy RabbitYesMammalShrub-steppeEC, BM, NBR
Red-naped SapsuckerNoBirdAspen WoodlandsWC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Rocky Mountain ElkNoMammalHabitat GeneralistEC, CP, BM, NBR
Roosevelt ElkNoMammalHabitat GeneralistUse clear-cuts/ag landsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC
Sierra Nevada Red FoxYesMammalMontane Mixed Conifer Forest
Slender-billed White-breasted NuthatchYesBirdOak WoodlandsWV, KM, EC, BM
Townsend's ChipmunkNoMammalConifer-Hardwood ForestsUse clear-cutsCR, WV, KM, WC, EC
Vesper SparrowYesBirdEastside (Interior) GrasslandsWV, KM, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Western Bumble BeeYesInvertebrateMixed WoodlandsFloral resourcesWC, EC
Western Gray SquirrelYesMammalWestside Lowlands Conifer-Hardwood ForestCR, WV, KM, WC, EC
Western MeadowlarkYesBirdEastside (Interior) GrasslandsWV, KM, EC, CP, BM, NBR
Western Pond TurtleYesReptileOpen WaterCR, WV, KM, WC, EC
Western RattlesnakeYesReptileWestside Lowlands Conifer-Hardwood Forest
Western Snowy PloverYesBirdCoastal DunesCR, NBR
Western ToadYesAmphibianMontane Coniferous WetlandsCR, KM, WC, EC, CP, BM, NBR
WrentitNoBirdOak WoodlandsDense shrub layersCR, KM, WC

chipmunk full

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OCAMP is complete!

You can view the Priority Wildlife Connectivity Areas (PWCAs) here.

Access more information about PWCAs, review project methods, and download reports and data here.


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