PRELIMINARY HABITAT SUITABILITY ANALYSIS FOR MOOSE IN MAINLAND NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Ecosystem management for biological conservation should include consideration of landscape-scale processes such as the habitat requirements of focal species. Moose (Alces alces americana) have been identified as an appropriate target for focal attention in mainland Nova Scotia. Currently, the population is at risk, and strategies for conservation should include the protection of sufficient habitat to meet the spatial requirements of the population. Delineation of spatial habitat requirements calls for an understanding of species-habitat associations and the distribution of suitable habitat across the landscape. To this end, habitat suitability in Nova Scotia was assessed relative to four criteria: (1) food availability; (2) conifer cover; (3) mixed-wood cover; and, (4) aquatic resources. Model predictions were tested by comparing habitat suitability values to provincial pellet inventory data. Road density was found to be more important than habitat composition in determining moose pellet distribution.
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