ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Connectivity analyses for Slopes to Summit project (2016-2020)


Holbrook Landcare and NSW Environmental Trust (Bush Connects), $30,000

Research Theme

Biodiversity Conservation


Dr Peter Spooner and Simon McDonald


CSU, as collaborators in Holbrook Landcare Network's Slopes to Summit Bush Connect project (2016-2020) which has received nearly $500,000 in funding from the NSW Environment Trust, are leading up the research and connectivity analyses support for that project.

The principal aim of the project was to increase connectivity in two specific study areas in the Slopes to Summit (S2S) area – between Woomargama National Park and Table Top Nature Reserve/Benambra National Park; and north of Holbrook, straddling Billabong Creek. Both areas are mostly private land, with much of the vegetation endangered grassy box woodlands. Holbrook Landcare used its Bush Connect funding to develop projects for these properties with the aim to increase connectivity in these fragmented landscapes.

The CSU component of the project had three stages:

  1. Conduct a connectivity analysis for the existing landscape
  2. A second phase of analysis after Holbrook Landcare has made its decisions on where to place on-ground works based on its threat and opportunity analysis
  3. Evaluate improvements in connectivity and conduct further analysis to predict the long term outcomes of the project

Dr Peter Spooner, together with CSU's Spatial Analysis Officer Simon McDonald,conducted an innovative Circuitscape connectivity analysis using GIS tools. This is helping Holbrook Landcare plan and design its on-ground restoration works to meet the aims of the major project. It is anticipated future Honours students will ground-truth the connectivity modelling results.


  • Better understanding of how species use fragmented, modified rural landscapes
  • Landscape model to simulate different degrees of resistence to animal movement
  • Informed similar connectivity conservation programs that are occurring throughout Australia and worldwide.


Dr Peter Spooner  Email

Campus -Albury-Wodonga

March 2021