Trading Habitat Patches for the Red Cockaded Woodpecker: Incorporating the Role of Landscape Structure and Uncertainty in Decision Making
Final rept. Mar 2006-Mar 2007
MICHIGAN STATE UNIV EAST LANSING DEPT OF FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE
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Our SEED project derived a method to trade habitat that incorporates the role of landscape connectivity for population viability, and level of scientific uncertainty regarding landscape-scale processes. Our project focuses on the development and application of spatially-explicit population models SEPMs to inform habitat trading decisions. Military readiness will often require changing the spatial allocation of endangered species habitat prior to reaching a scientific consensus regarding the dispersal behaviors of listed species. Therefore, we use Pattern Oriented Modeling to reduce uncertainty in SEPMs regarding dispersal of red-cockaded woodpeckers RCW for Camp Lejeune. We used the subset of SEPMs capable of reproducing observed patterns to evaluate six alternative habitat trades. Landscape Equivalency Analysis was used to estimate if the patches traded make equivalent contributions to rates of population growth and migration at a regional scale. Decision analysis indicated that despite the remaining uncertainty in dispersal behaviors, a further reduction in uncertainty will likely not change the estimate of the most cost-effective trade.
- Operations Research