Action A3 :
analysis of spatial connectivity and preparation of environmental impact assessment guidelines :
prepared within A3 action of LIFE DINALP BEAR Project (LIFE13 NAT/SI/0005)Mariano Rodriguez Recio
, Klemen Jerina
, Felix Knauer
, Anja Molinari-Jobin
, Claudio Groff
, Đuro Huber
, Paolo Molinari
, Luca Pedrotti
, Stefano Filacorda
Abstract: As for other large carnivores in Europe, the brown bear shows a trend of recovering under different management scenarios. However, this recovery comes with specific biological and conservation requirements at individual and population levels often followed by conflicts in a highly humanized continent. To foresee conflicts with humans and to facilitate decisionmaking, spatially-explicit research is required to identify potential habitats and the connectivity of fragmented bear populations. First, we conducted multiscale modeling based on scale-integrated resource selection functions (SRSFs) to identify drivers shaping the spaceuse of three bear populations/demographic units (Trentino-Swiss, pre-Alps, and Dinaric), and across 3 scales of space (population distribution, home range establishment, and use of individual home range). Secondly, we also conducted an analysis of the connectivity patterns of suitable habitat patches (nodes) to identify the potential importance of each node to contribute to individual mobility, survival, and population connectivity. Lastly, to support further environmental impact assessment analyses, we identified the most plausible least-cost paths connecting different areas of the same large patch with itself and surrounding patches. Using topographic, landcover, and anthropogenic predictors, our analytical approach transcended from scale dependence bias to produce a predictive map on habitat suitability while delivered information on habitat selection trends for each population. Bears mostly selected forest habitats in all the populations; however, habitat selection differed for the other variables among populations and scales, especially in the Trentino area where the species selected the most intricate topography. Predictive maps revealed a broad range of suitable but fragmented patches of bear habitat. The largest and most important patches for connectivity occurred in the current distribution range of the species, with the most suitable habitat lying in the pre-Alpine and Dinaric populations. Connecting viable patches to host female homeranges is possible through stepping-stone patches of corridors reachable within the estimated dispersal distance of females. Unified transnational decision-making is required for the conservation of stepping-stone patches, facilitate bear mobility, and ultimately connect bear populations.
DiRROS - Published: 01.07.2019; Views: 1590; Downloads: 656
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