April 8, 2016

The YardMap Network is a citizen science project, developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, designed to collect data about how our local, regional, and national landscapes are being put to work as wildlife habitat. YardMap asks people to draw maps of their local landscapes; from small spaces like backyards, to larger spaces like land trust parcels.

YardMap’s online tools give you access to summary data about habitat details, provide opportunities for sharing what you’ve learned, and enable you to make better decisions about how to manage landscapes sustainably.

What can YardMap offer land trusts?

When you join you are instantly connected to others interested in providing backyard habitat to wildlife, whether in your neighborhood or across the country. Special tools let organizations, like a land trust, form a “Group” that will knit a collection of maps together. For example, you might create a “Finger Lakes Land Trust” Group, and ask owners of property adjacent to your land trust parcels to map their properties and then join the group to help build a collective understanding of the roles of everyone’s land in conserving habitat for wildlife. To learn more about how to put the Groups Tool to use for your organization, please read this article.

Your land trust might also be interested in articles focused on relevant issues, such as articles on connectivity.

  • With your support of YardMap, we can answer questions like…
  • What practices improve the wildlife value of residential landscapes?
  • Which of these practices have the greatest impact?
  • Over how large an area do we have to implement these practices to really make a difference for wildlife?
  • What impact do urban and suburban wildlife corridors and stopover habitats have on birds?
  • Which measures (bird counts? nesting success?) show the greatest impacts of our practices?

Together we can become a conservation community focused on sharing strategies, maps, and successes to build more wildlife habitat.