Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Geography

Committee Chair

Anna Klene

Committee Co-chair

Kevin McManigal

Commitee Members

Hugh Robinson Nathaniel Robinson


Cartography, GIS, Species Conservation, Tigers, Lions, Protected Area Management, Topographic Maps


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Other Geography


In response to global consumer demand for rare and exotic wildlife products, poaching of endangered species has become pervasive around the world (Eliason 1999). Despite the enactment of CITES, and other international efforts to protect vulnerable species from overexploitation, the global market for illegal wildlife products is estimated as high as $20-billion a year industry (Wyler 2008). Within important wildlife habitat sites, law enforcement struggle to curb rampant poaching that threatens the ultimate survival of many endangered species (Jachmann 2008; Rowcliffe 2004). Law-enforcement agencies responsible for protecting wildlife from poachers often lack geospatial tools that could greatly improve the effectiveness of their efforts. These tools include accurate topographic maps with the appropriate scale and the level of detail necessary for navigating in difficult and dangerous terrain, and GIS base data needed to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of patrols (Pickles 2015).

Recently, collaborations between the University of Montana (UM) and the large cat advocacy group Panthera, have enabled the production of geospatial packages for four protected areas of concern. These packages include printed topographic map series, GPS base-maps and comprehensive GIS base data. Throughout the creation of these packages, UM faculty and students have developed a nuanced workflow for this process using GIS and graphic design software. Until 2018, this workflow had yet to be fully documented. This document presents this workflow in the form of a cartographic manual, including step-by-step methods for creating appropriate geospatial packages. The goal of this document is to increase the efficiency of future cartographic collaborations between UM and conservation-minded groups, while providing valuable educational resources for UM students in GIS and cartography.



© Copyright 2018 Martin P. Viereckl