GRAY FOX AND RED FOX DISTRIBUTIONS OF DURHAM AND ORANGE COUNTIES, NORTH CAROLINA

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2020-04-24

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Abstract

Urbanization and human development have been expanding throughout North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Humans fragment natural ecosystems, species become increasingly at risk of extirpation and human-wildlife conflict. This project analyzed predicted gray fox and red fox distributions across Durham County and Orange County, North Carolina with a specific focus on Duke Forest. I applied two modeling approaches using species presence-absence data, environmental variables, and expert opinion to predict gray fox and red fox habitat distributions. The first method was a rules-based modeling approach, while the second was a Maximum Entropy (Maxent) modeling approach. Red foxes showed a preference for more urban and dry-oak ecosystems, while gray foxes showed a preference for mesic forests and fields. These predicted habitat distributions helped inform Duke Forest’s management team of conservation priorities, including land conservation and on-the-ground management strategies.

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Cole, Madison (2020). GRAY FOX AND RED FOX DISTRIBUTIONS OF DURHAM AND ORANGE COUNTIES, NORTH CAROLINA. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20522.


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