The American marten Martes americana is a species of conservation concern in the northeastern United States due to widespread declines from over-harvesting and habitat loss. Little information exists on current marten distribution and how landscape characteristics shape patterns of occupancy across the region, which could help develop effective recovery strategies. The rarity of marten and lack of historical distribution records are also problematic for region-wide conservation planning. Expert opinion can provide a source of information for estimating species–landscape relationships and is especially useful when empirical data are sparse. We created a survey to elicit expert opinion and build a model that describes marten occupancy in the northeastern United States as a function of landscape conditions.
Our objectives were to (1) Administer a survey to allow for the elicitation of expert opinion regarding factors influencing marten habitat quality; (2) Develop an expert-based occupancy model that describes habitat quality for marten throughout the northeastern United States, accounting for variation in expert opinions and individual expert biases; (3) Use the model to estimate probability of occurrence throughout the northeast; and (4) Estimate connectivity between isolated core areas of marten occurrence in the region.
Downloadable: 4 datasetsSee the full list of available data
Status - Completed
Start date: 2015-01-01
End date: 2018-01-01