Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project Y051348

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Mountain goat habitat supply modeling: pilot project test results

Author(s): Hengeveld, P. E.; Synergy Applied Ecology
Imprint: Mackenzie, BC. : Synergy Applied Ecology, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program


Mountain goat habitat supply modelling (HSM) was initiated for the Mackenzie Timber Supply area (TSA) in January 2003, as a component of the Mackenzie Mountain Goat Project in northcentral British Columbia. Our modelling approach is based on a Bayesian belief network (BBN) developed for mountain goat habitat valuation and management planning. To be effective and credible as a planning tool, HSM’s must undergo technical testing. This report documents the results of a pilot project to test the veracity of the mineral lick and escape terrain BBN’s, and initiate development of a predictive trails BBN. Modelled high and moderate capability mineral licks (n=486) were field sampled by aerial reconnaissance; results showed a 43.2% error rate in model predictions. Radio-telemetry relocations (n=1,418) for 48 individual mountain goats in the Mackenzie TSA were used as habitat selection estimates to test correspondence with modelled escape terrain; results showed significant selection by mountain goats for modelled escape terrain. Five spatial data analyses approaches were evaluated as methods for identifying the spatial distribution of trail corridors between modelled escape terrain and mineral licks. The recommended approach is to proceed with a simple buffer and adjacency analysis that can be integrated into the existing trails BBN at the user-defined trails node. Overall, our results show that the selected methods can effectively test BBN-based habitat supply models, and direct future refinement and application of BBNs.
Pamela Hengeveld.

Updated September 08, 2005 

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