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Habitat Suitability Modelling for Passage Activity: A Cautionary Tale Using Mink

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • While
    many
    studies
    have
    evaluated
    wildlife
    passage
    effectiveness,
    few
    have
    explored
    how
    accurately
    passage
    activity
    can
    be
    modelled.
    I
    created
    a
    habitat
    suitability
    index
    (HSI)
    model
    for
    American
    mink
    (Neovison
    vison)
    using
    Geographic
    Information
    Systems
    with
    17
    wildlife
    passages
    located
    in
    Quebec
    as
    validation
    for
    the
    model.
    Two
    questions
    were
    addressed:
    (1)
    How
    well
    can
    HSI
    modelling
    for
    mink
    determine
    passage
    activity?
    and
    (2)
    how
    sensitive
    are
    the
    models
    to
    different
    parameterizations?
    To
    test
    this,
    I
    assessed
    how
    well
    the
    HSI
    scores
    generated
    aligned
    with
    passage
    activity.
    A
    generalized
    linear
    model
    was
    used
    to
    test
    how
    well
    the
    model
    explained
    the
    variability
    in
    passage
    activity
    (counts).
    Uncertainty
    analysis
    revealed
    that
    the
    HSI
    model
    was
    sensitive
    to
    extreme
    changes
    in
    factor
    weights
    and
    scale.
    The
    predictive
    power
    of
    all
    models
    greatly
    improved
    after
    including
    aspects
    related
    to
    passage
    construction,
    with
    the
    pseudo-­‐R2
    increasing
    between
    64

    73
    %.
    These
    findings
    suggest
    that
    these
    HSI
    models
    are
    a
    poor
    predicator
    of
    passage
    use
    for
    mink,
    while
    wildlife
    passage
    characteristics
    are
    highly
    predictive.
    Transportation
    agencies
    would
    benefit
    from
    the
    ability
    to
    make
    informed
    planning
    decisions,
    however
    greater
    care
    is
    required
    to
    determine
    passage
    suitability.
    The
    proper
    implementation
    of
    these
    tools
    requires
    knowledge
    of
    not
    only
    habitat
    preferences,
    but
    also
    how
    movement
    is
    influenced
    by
    the
    wildlife
    passages
    themselves.

  • Date created
    2017-01-31
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Conference/Workshop Presentation
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3RR1Q156
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International