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Chapter 2. Selecting Key Habitat Attributes for MonitoringAuthor(s): Gregory D. Hayward; Lowell H. Suring
Source: In: Rowland, M.M.; Vojta, C.D.; tech. eds. 2013. A technical guide for monitoring wildlife habitat. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-89. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 20p.
Publication Series: Book Chapter
Station: Washington Office
PDF: Download Publication (667.99 KB)
DescriptionThe success of habitat monitoring programs depends, to a large extent, on carefully selecting key habitat attributes to monitor. The challenge of choosing a limited but sufficient set of attributes will differ depending on the objectives of the monitoring program. In some circumstances, such as managing National Forest System lands for threatened and endangered species, habitat monitoring may focus on tracking habitat for one or a few emphasis species. In other settings, such as monitoring the effects of broad-scale land management plans, habitat monitoring may need to address many species. Regardless of scope, similar processes are used to identify attributes for monitoring. The complexity of the organizational and analytical task, however, will differ significantly with scope. In this chapter, we describe steps for choosing habitat attributes for monitoring and for reducing the list of key habitat attributes to those that are affected by management and can be feasibly measured. In this chapter, and throughout this guide, a habitat attribute is defined as any living or nonliving feature of the environment that provides resources necessary for a species in a particular setting. Selecting habitat attributes depends on management priorities and whether monitoring habitat for a particular species or species group is useful or necessary. Selecting habitat attributes for monitoring is based on an understanding of threats and limiting factors that influence population growth and the status of each emphasis species, as well as the factors that may limit their distribution based on physiological ecology and thresholds. This understanding is summarized through the development of a conceptual model of habitat relationships for each emphasis species, which forms the foundation for the selection process.
CitationHayward, Gregory D.; Suring, Lowell H. 2013. Chapter 2. Selecting Key Habitat Attributes for Monitoring. In: Rowland, M.M.; Vojta, C.D.; tech. eds. 2013. A technical guide for monitoring wildlife habitat. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-89. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 20p.
- Chapter 5. Using Habitat Models for Habitat Mapping and Monitoring
- The Process of Indicator Selection
- Chapter 4. Monitoring vegetation composition and structure as habitat attributes
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