Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): William J. Zielinski; Carlos Carroll; Jeffrey R. Dunk
    Date: 2006
    Source: Biological Conservation 133(4): 409-430
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (4.17 MB)


    Protection of area-limited species is an important component of plans to conserve biodiversity, but the habitat needs of such species can be different and important habitats may not align with existing reserves. We used empirically derived landscape suitability models for the spotted owl and the fisher to evaluate the overlap in habitat suitability for these two old forest-associated predators in an area of northern California affected by the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP), a bioregional conservation plan. The area includes designated Wilderness areas and new reserves (Late-Successional Reserves, LSRs) established under the NWFP. We used the site selection algorithm MARXAN to identify priority habitat areas for each species, and for both combined, and to compare these areas with reserves. Sites were selected under two constraints, to achieve a threshold proportion of total habitat value and to select new areas equal to the total current area in existing reserves. The rank correlation between predicted value for the two species was low (0.11), because areas of highest predicted habitat value were more widely distributed for the owl. This difference also meant that the sites selected to optimize habitat value were more aggregated for fishers than owls, resulting in greater overlap of owl habitat and current reserves. To capture 25%, 50% and 75% of total habitat value for the owl required 14.0%, 29.2%, and 47.3% of the planning units, respectively; capturing the same for the fisher required only 5.3%, 13.5%, and 27.2%. A combined owl-fisher scenario resulted in areas that overlapped only ~50% of existing reserves. The current location of LSRs may not be the best solution to maintaining well-connected habitats for these area-limited species in northwestern California. Whether LSRs are a better solution to protecting the diversity of other lesser-known taxa (i.e., salamanders and mollusks) is the subject of related work.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Zielinski, William J.; Carroll, Carlos; Dunk, Jeffrey R. 2006. Using landscape suitability models to reconcile conservation planning for two key forest predators. Biological Conservation 133(4): 409-430


    Conservation planning, Landscape suitability, Fisher, Martes pennanti</em, Spotted owl, Strix occidentalis, Habitat suitability, Modeling

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page