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A proposed methodology for assessing the quality of wildlife habitat

Authors
Journal
Ecological Modelling
0304-3800
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
2
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0304-3800(76)90008-9
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Abstract Measurement of the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat is a necessity in planning and analyzing water resource projects. A methodology that provides a means of examining the following major components of habitat quality is proposed: (1) the quantity of land uses, (2) the degree of interspersion of land use, aand (3) the stage of land management and vegetative types. The model can be calibrated to a specific region by experienced wildlife biologists and applied by field technicians using aerial photographs and field evaluation of randomly located points. Biologists familiar with a region develop transformation curves relating variables that represent the above three major components to standardizing factors that range from 0 to 1; these transformation curves reflect the sensitivity of wildlife populations to determinants of habitat quality. The methodology also provides the means for biologists to weigh each components as to its relative importance to the wildlife group or species. A weighted geometric mean of the components provides an indication of the overall quality of the habitat. Changes in the habitat components that may occur because of alternative project actions can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the alternatives. The change in the index of habitat quality will indicate the need for mitigation in water resource projects. The system then can be used to identify areas for mitigation and the effects of mitigating measures.

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