Brian Hudgens; Institute for Wildlife Studies; 140 H St, Blue Lake, CA, 95525; (707) 496-4725;; David Garcelon, Justin Brice, Colton Wise
Habitat fragmentation has long been recognized as contributing to wildlife population declines and loss of biodiversity. Most research addressing the issue of habitat fragmentation has focused on identifying landscape features that facilitate movement between disjunct habitat patches, such as corridors. However, the hallmark of a fragmented landscape is the imposition of movement barriers. Pronghorn are especially sensitive to movement barriers, particularly fencing. We used location data from 45 adult pronghorn inhabiting the Modoc Plateau tracked from 2014-2016 to identify movement barriers at two spatial scales. At the landscape scale, we used habitat suitability to identify areas where large regions of unfavorable habitat isolate patches of favorable habitat. Within patches of highly suitable habitat, we identified regions with barriers to pronghorn movement based on directional movement analysis. At a more local scale, we identified which fences within a region pose the most significant barrier to pronghorn movement based on the number of approaches to a fence segment and the probability that an approaching animal crossed the fence segment. Each of these analyses identified different kinds of movement barriers, and represent complimentary approaches to directing efforts to reconnect fragmented landscapes.
Poster Session   Student Paper