This thesis describes conceptual and methodological work that aims to advance the science of modeling and mapping wildlife habitat in human-modified landscapes. First, I review how researchers have defined and measured the quality of wildlife habitat over the past four decades. I then demonstrate a new approach to quantifying habitat quality by modeling habitat for the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis, RCW) across the Onslow Bight, a one million hectare region of North Carolina's coastal plain. Next, I describe the development and operation of a GIS toolbox for ArcGIS 9.3, called "Connect", designed to help conservation practitioners incorporate habitat connectivity considerations into land management and land-use planning. In two stakeholder-driven case studies, I use the Connect tools to prioritize private land parcels for connectivity conservation in fragmented habitats around Fort Bragg, NC, and evaluate the effectiveness of a proposed corridor in promoting dispersal for RCW in the face of urban development.
|Commitee:||Song, Conghe, White, Peter S.|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 50/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Management, Conservation, Remote sensing|
|Keywords:||Habitat quality, Landscape connectivity, Onslow Bight, Private lands, Sandhills|
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