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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The status of the American badger in the San Francisco Bay area
by Lay, Chris, M.S., San Jose State University, 2008, 35; 1463374
Abstract (Summary)

In the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA), the American badger (Taxidea taxus) has persisted within grasslands throughout the 20th century but continues to be exposed to increasing suburban sprawl. During the winter of 2002/2003, burrow transect surveys were used to assess the current distribution of badgers at 30 sites within the SFBA. Badger presence/absence, burrow density, and gopher and ground squirrel burrow densities were determined at each site. Using GIS, percent grassland, non-grassland, suburban land, agricultural land, and road/highway lengths were characterized within a three km radius of each site. Badgers were present at 15 sites, indicating that their distribution had contracted, particularly within habitat fragments east of San Francisco Bay and along urban edges. Suburban land use (p=0.01) and length of roads (p=0.06) were both less at sites where badgers were present. The best logistic regression model predicted that badgers were most likely present in grasslands where suburban land use and road lengths were low and gopher and ground squirrel burrow densities were high. Badgers appeared to be more sensitive than other carnivores to both habitat fragmentation and edge effects, perhaps due to their patchy distribution, sensitivity to human land use, and high road crossing mortality rates. The remaining populations in the SFBA may be especially susceptible to local extirpation events and should continue to be monitored in the future.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bros, Shannon
School: San Jose State University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Organismal biology
Keywords: California
Publication Number: 1463374
ISBN: 978-1-109-07624-0
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