Desert Tortoise Recovery Spatial Decision Support System (Version 1)

Since 2007, the Redlands Institute has been working with the USFWS Desert Tortoise Recovery Office (DTRO) to create a threats-based spatial decision support system to help the DTRO coordinate species recovery activities such as research, monitoring and management actions. At its core the system uses spatial characterizations of existing threats combined with a weighted threat-stress conceptual model to estimate changes in stresses for tortoise populations due to specific recovery actions.

V1 2007-2008
The first iteration of the SDS supported the DTRO in developing the Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Mojave Population of the Desert Tortoise (2008).

The system was composed of a hard wired ArcGIS model builder scripts. Relationships – how threats contributed to threats, and threats to mortality, were based on published threat-threat relationships. These relationships between threats, stresses and recovery actions were hard-wired in the calculational scripts. The strengths of relationships were inferred from preexisting threat-threat surveys completed by desert tortoise scientists.

Inputs: Threat Maps
Outputs: Stress Maps

Main Features
• Spatial Representation of Threats and Stresses
• A-Spatial Calculation of Recovery Action rankings
• No end user GUI



URL (No Longer Available)

For Application Domains

Threatened And Endangered Species Conservation

Decision Problem Types Targeted

Alternative Evaluation

Status Assessment

Domain Knowledge Modeling Area

Species Threat And Stress Modeling

Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Design Requirement Development

Domain Data Analysis

Domain Knowledge Process Model Development

Evaluation Criteria Specification

Rank Alternatives

Scenario Simulation And Comparison

Specify Criterion Weight


Other Workflow Steps Supported

Step 3 - Develop/Refine Ecosystem Representation Models

Methods And Techniques Implemented

Opinion Survey

Pairwise Comparison


Weighted Linear Combination

Systems Functional Components

Data Management

GIS Analysis Integration

GIS Display Integration


Input Type

Spatial Dataset


Input Data Format

ESRI Geodatabase Feature Class

Microsoft Excel (.Dbf)

Raster ESRI Geodatabase Raster Dataset

Output Type



Output Data Format

Microsoft Excel (.Dbf)

Raster ESRI Geodatabase Raster Dataset

Analysis Extent

All (User Defined Analysis Extent)

Analysis Unit

All (User Defined Unit Of Observation)


Windows Vista

Software Required


Web Enabled

False ^^ Http://Www.W3.Org/2001/Xmlschema#Boolean

Scientific Expertise Level Required

Some Scientific Background

Technical Expertise Level Required

Extensive Computer/GIS Programming Skills

Development Status

Prototype Being Applied

Tool Maker

The Redlands Institute (RI)

Contact Person

Nathan Strout

Parent Categories

Software Tools And Models - All

First Created


Decision Process Activity Types Served

Alternative Ranking, Decision Making

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Data Development, Management And Analysis

Decision Alternatives Generation, Scenario Simulation

Domain Knowledge Modeling


Graphical Ontology Browser

  • Click on a node to jump to the content of that node
  • Pan to see the rest of the graph
  • Scroll the mousewheel up and down to zoom in and out
  • Rearrange the nodes in the graph by dragging a node to a different position


IntroductionPlanning/Decision ContextPlanning And Spatial Decision ProcessSpatial Planning And Decision Problem TypesMethods And Techniques
methods and techniques; methodology
TechnologyData And Domain KnowledgePeople And ParticipationResources