To be able work at both broad and fine scales, the assessment tool must be scalable. Scalability is addressed by first establishing habitat sub-networks – or distinct units of functionally connected habitat patches  – and then within a given habitat sub-network, assessing each habitat patch’s quality and contribution to connectivity within the patch sub-network.

Delineating habitat sub-networks consists of isolating habitat areas from non-habitat and then separating habitat patches among which a species is unlikely to travel between. Separation can be a factor of Euclidean or cost weighted distance, depending on what’s known. For example, two habitat areas may be separated by a wide expanse of non-habitat, or they may be physically close, but separated by an interstate which individuals are unlikely to cross.


Once sub-networks are created, they can be assessed using various qualities:

  • Does a sub-network contain any protected habitat patches? If so, these could be a useful seed for prioritizing other patches for conservation.