Graduation Date

Fall 2023

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Natural Resources, option Wildlife

Committee Chair Name

Micaela Szykman Gunther

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Ho Yi Wan

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Erin Kelly

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fourth Committee Member Name

Carrington Hilson

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Subject Categories

Wildlife

Abstract

As human development continues to expand, wildlife managers are faced with problems arising from human-wildlife conflict. To address conflict, it is vital to identify how animals view the landscape and move across areas of differing land use. On the North Coast of California, Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) are widely considered to be a valuable resource but are viewed by some as a nuisance due to economic losses caused by property damage. The aim of this study was to identify suitable habitat and movement corridors for Roosevelt elk across Humboldt and Del Norte counties in northern California. Suitable elk habitat was characterized by moderate terrain ruggedness, shallow slope, variation between low and high elevations, and was not strongly influenced by forest cover. Patches of suitable habitat overlapped areas of moderate-high human use, and paths of least resistance occurred mainly over private lands owned by corporate timber companies and ranches. For state wildlife managers to begin tackling the larger issue of human-elk conflict across the North Coast, identifying suitable habitat patches and movement corridors is an important start for highlighting areas of greatest concern. Future work can then focus on enhancing or creating more efficient paths for elk movement and assisting landowners and managers when corridors fall within high-conflict areas.

Citation Style

JWM

2021_W65_Elk_Ashley_Cameras.pdf (236 kB)
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