Viability and improvement of constructive wildlife corridors in tropical forests, proposing a new method for evaluating corridors geospatially using MaxEnt

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2022-12-14

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Abstract

Habitat corridor ecology remains a new and developing field in wildlife and forest management. Little is known about how corridors statistically work or how they should be established and monitored. Stuart Pimm and his non-profit Saving Nature build constructive habitat corridors in tropical forests, and he now hopes that the data collected from these corridors can contribute to the growing knowledge in this field. In this study, I analyzed camera trap data from Saving Nature’s corridors in Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil. Occupancy models were run to determine general corridor efficiency based on the species detected in the camera traps and species that were expected to appear based on environmental variables. I also attempted to propose maximum entropy models as an alternative way to achieve the same goal. Finally, least cost path corridor models were run to identify the areas animals are most likely to be found in, so that cameras can be repositioned to collect more data. Overall, all corridors were determined to be working adequately, but with room for improvement. MaxEntmodels show some potential as a method to evaluate corridor projects, but model refining and further research and development are required.

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Markus, Caitlin (2022). Viability and improvement of constructive wildlife corridors in tropical forests, proposing a new method for evaluating corridors geospatially using MaxEnt. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/26359.


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