Wolf Use of Space in Northeast Washington

Authors: Anna McDermott*, University of Washington
Topics: Animal Geographies, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: wolves, large predators, interactions, space use, utilization density estimate, spatial autocorrelation, agent-based model, resource selection probability
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As a result of protections granted by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), gray wolves began recolonizing northeast Washington (NEWA) in the 1990s after decades without them due to near extirpation in the early 1900s. Delisted from the ESA in the eastern third of Washington, wolves remain protected in the western two-thirds. As apex predators, wolves instigate trophic cascades of direct and indirect effects, which balance ecosystems by keeping irruptive native and non-native species in check, resulting in healthier plant communities. Additionally, interactions with other large carnivores have shown wolves to be the top predators other than brown bears through affecting other species’ use of space. This project will assess wolf space use in NEWA to determine areas of pack use and the spatial responses of other large predators in the region. Methods used will be utilization density estimates, spatial autocorrelation, agent-based models, and resource selection probability functions. Together, these will create an overview of how wolves use space as they re-establish themselves in an area and how other predatory species respond through their uses of space. It is expected that wolves are still in the process of re-establishment and that some predators have already shifted their territories while others, such as coyotes, may not have adjusted yet.

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