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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

PI: James D. Forester

Understanding the Landscape Ecology of Large Ungulates

Populations of large mobile animals are becoming increasingly difficult to manage as the demands from various stakeholders increase, land-use conditions change, and uncertainty grows about how animals will respond to novel climate conditions. Understanding how both the distribution and abundance of animals change in space and time lies at the very core of wildlife management and conservation; however, conventional methods, such as traditional demographic and habitat-use models, have been constructed around historical data and may not be strongly predictive of future population dynamics or habitat use. This research will develop a modeling technique that will synthesize multiple sources of spatio-temporal data to provide a rigorous framework for understanding and predicting how animals are likely to respond to short-term changes in their environment, and predictions of how these populations will alter their landscape use in response to broad-scale, long-term changes in the spatial distribution of habitat and climate.