Project Overview

In this project, we used expert elicitation techniques to develop species distribution models (SDMs) for harvested wildlife species (n = 10) in the New England region of the northeastern United States. We administered an online survey that elicited opinions from wildlife experts on the probability of species occurrence throughout the study region. We collected 3396 probability of occurrence estimates from 46 experts, and used linear mixed-effects methods and landcover variables at multiple spatial extents to develop SDMs. We applied models to rasters (30 × 30 m pixles) of the New England region to map each species’ distribution. Details of the project can be found in the following publication: Pearman-Gillman SB, Katz JE, Mickey R, Murdoch JD, and Donovan TM. 2020. Predicting wildlife distribution patterns in New England USA with expert elicitation techniques. Global Ecology and Conservation 21:e00853. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00853


Our objectives were to: 1) Develop a regional, multi-species survey that collects species-specific probability of occurrence data at numerous sites across New England; 2) Conduct the survey with expert elicitation methods, in which experts were asked to report the probability of occurrence of target species at a subset of study sites; 3) Analyze results to develop SDMs with generalized linear mixed-effect and stepwise modeling approaches; and 4) Map wildlife species regional distributions and identify areas of multispecies conservation interest.

Dataset Availability

Downloadable: 10 datasets

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Status - Completed

Start date: 2016-05-01

End date: 2020-01-15

Study Area

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