Mexican Spotted Owl, stretching...

Corridor Designer Evaluation Tools

Last Modified:   Revision 3.0.813, January 12, 2014

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On-Line Manuals

(requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
 Corridor Designer Evaluation Tools for ArcGIS 9.x (30.0 MB)

Corridor Designer Evaluation Tools for ArcGIS 10 (30.1 MB)

Manual in Letter (8.5 x 11) page size

Manual in A4 page size

View and Download Full Corridor Designer Poster, Portrait

View and Download Full Corridor Designer Poster, Landscape


Featured in Fall 2010 Edition of ArcNews


Download Corridor Designer Evaluation Tools Raw Code Files (Visual Basic 6 project file, 37.6 MB)

This ArcGIS extension is part of a larger suite of tools designed to assist with corridor design and analysis.  For additional tools, plus tutorials, literature, blogs and sample datasets, please visit the Corridor Designer website at

Do you know of any stable 50-year-old landscapes with patches and long, wide corridors, anywhere in the world?  Please visit to review and possibly assist with a Northern Arizona University project evaluating how well conservation corridors work.

Author:  Jeff Jenness

Wildlife Biologist, GIS Analyst

Jenness Enterprises

3020 N. Schevene Blvd.

Flagstaff, AZ, 86004   USA

(928) 607-4638 

CorridorDesigner (see includes ArcGIS procedures that allow you to develop a linkage design that best support movement by multiple focal species. In 2010, CorridorDesigner added new procedures that allow you to develop corridors that provide for continuity of land facets (recurring units of relatively uniform topography and soils); these are intended to provide a linkage that will provide wildlife connectivity during and after climate change.  The ArcGIS portion of these Land Facet tools is available on both the Corridor Designer page and at In both cases, the procedures produce a design that represents “the best we can do” from an ecological perspective.

Here we offer a new set of tools, called Corridor Evaluation Tools, that allow you to describe various traits of one or more corridor polygons. Corridor evaluation tools are needed for two reasons.

bulletFirst “the best we can do” might not be very good. Least-cost modeling procedures always produce least-cost corridors – that is, lands that provide lower resistance to animal movement (or better continuity or interspersion of land facets) than any alternative. However, these corridors may still be pretty lousy. Analysts need to provide good honest assessments of how well the linkage design serves each focal species or land facet.
bulletSecond, the linkage design ignores feasibility. County planners, city planners, and conservation investors aften want to consider alternatives that minimize dollar expenditures or that provide opportunities for other economic activities. For instance, the linkage design may include many small parcels (which have high transaction costs) or landowners who do not want to sell conservation easements. At the same time, there may be an opportunity to conserve an alternative swath of land that does not have these problems. Planners and investors need to know: How does this alternative compare to the optimal linkage design? Is it almost as good, half as good, or markedly inferior?

The Corridor Evaluation Tools allow developers, conservation groups, and planning agencies to create an alternative corridor by simply drawing it on the screen, selecting parcels of interest, or pointing to any polygon. They can then describe both the optimum corridor and any alternative corridor(s) to the optimum design in several ways:

bulletA list of the longest distances between consecutive patches of breeding habitat in each corridor polygon for each focal species
bulletGraphs depicting narrowness and length of bottlenecks in each corridor
bulletFrequency distributions of habitat quality for each focal species in each corridor
bulletDescriptive statistics for any raster or vector attribute of a corridor.
bulletCross-tabulations of any two raster or vector attributes of a corridor. For example, a decision-maker may want a cross-tabulation of parcels based on parcel size and distance to paved road. If a polygon has many small parcels close to roads, that corridor would be much more difficult and expensive to protect than a corridor polygon consisting of large parcels far from paved roads.
bulletCircuit-theory metrics that characterize total resistance across all possible cells within each corridor (McRae. 2006. Evolution 60:1551–1561).

With these descriptors, decision-makers can compare and make choices among alternative corridor designs. You may wonder why Corridor Designer doesn’t develop a linkage design that recognizes costs and other constraints from the outset, rather than proposing an ecologically optimum design and then considering more practical alternatives. The answer is that the optimum design is a crucially important baseline (the best we can possibly do) that allows decision makers to evaluate the ecological cost of a particular compromise.

Recommended Citation Format: For those who wish to cite this extension, the author recommends something similar to:

Jenness, J., D. Majka and P. Beier.  Corridor Designer Evaluation Tools: Extension for ArcGIS. Jenness Enterprises. Available at:

Current Citation List (from Google Scholar):

bullet Corridor Designer
bullet Conceptual Steps for Designing Wildlife Corridors

Requires:  ArcGIS 9.1 or better (at any license level) or ArcGIS 10.

For detailed instructions on installation and operation, view the on-line PDF version of Corridor Designer Evaluation Tools Manual         


Version 1.0

bulletBuild 1.4.762 (November 27, 2007)
bulletRepaired bug in internal grid clipping function, which caused an intermittent crash in both the Patch and Bottleneck tools.
bullet Build 1.4.763  (December 5, 2007)
bulletFixed a minor bug in which Bottleneck Analysis table records did not have the correct record numbers.
bulletBuild 1.4.766 (December 12, 2007)
bulletFixed a bug in the “Create Shapefiles” function in which the tool would occasionally mistakenly state that the specified folder is not a valid workspace, and then fail to create a shapefile. The function will still return an error message if the specified workspace is truly not a valid workspace.
bulletBuild 1.4.769 (December 12, 2007)
bulletMinor changes to code
bulletUpdated manual

Version 2.0

bulletBuild 2.1.627 (October 4, 2009)
bulletGreatly expanded the Histogram tool to create visual histograms and to add them to layout.
bulletAdded Crosstab tool to allow for comparing bivariate datasets.
bulletAdded a “Combine Regions” tool to show how many species corridors or patches exist at any place on the landscape.
bulletAdded a “Suggestions” button to “About” dialog, to allow users to easily submit suggestions for new tools.
bulletBuild 2.1.632 (March 15, 2010)
bulletRepaired a bug in the Installation file, in which it would not install on some Windows Vista / Windows 7 systems with an “oleaut32.dll” error.
bulletAdded a function to export data for analysis in Circuitscape.
bulletBuild 2.1.637 (October 29, 2010)
bulletUpdated extension and installer to work in ArcGIS 10.
bulletBuild 2.1.638 (November 10, 2010)
bulletRepaired a bug that caused a rare error triggering an invalid property value when the progress meter text box had too much text in it.
bulletVersion 2.1.639: (November 16, 2010)
bulletWrote a workaround for an ArcGIS 10 bug in which the GX Dialog was unable to recognize a GRID filter, causing an “ActiveX component can’t create object” error message. This error would only appear in ArcGIS 10, and would always appear when the user clicked a button to specify a new location to save a raster.
bulletVersion 2.1.640: June 28, 2011
bulletModified code to prevent crashes with message “Non-modal forms cannot be displayed in this host application from an ActiveX DLL, ActiveX Control, or Property Page.” in ArcGIS 10.

Version 3.0

bulletBuild 3.0.817 (January 12, 2014)
bulletAdded a function to calculate Bottleneck Statistics in batch mode, where bottleneck parameters are read from a table.  This function includes an ancillary tool to check the input table for problems.

Enjoy! Please contact the author if you have problems or find bugs.

            Jeff Jenness                            

            Jenness Enterprises                

            3020 N. Schevene Blvd.                     (928) 607-4638

            Flagstaff, AZ  86004


Please visit Jenness Enterprises ArcGIS Tools site for more ArcGIS tools and other software by the author. We also offer GIS consultation services for both ArcGIS and ArcView 3.x to help you meet your specific data analysis and application development needs.