The purpose of this project was to review, verify and validate the Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) wildlife habitat suitability mapping associated with the Merritt IFPA Predictive Ecosystem Mapping project within the Pike Mountain chart area. This evaluation found major problems with the suitability mapping that preclude its use in any type of operational or strategic planning exercises. The primary problem is that the suitability map ratings do no correspond with the written goshawk species account and the habitat ratings justification document (overall accuracy = 10%). For the IDFdk2, the map ratings do correspond to most of the base site series ratings, however, there is no evidence that any of the adjustment factors outlined in the habitat ratings justification document have been incorporated. These adjustment factors would substantially change the distribution and pattern of habitat ratings currently expressed on the maps. For the MSdm2, the map ratings do not correspond to the base site series ratings or adjustment factors in the habitat justification document and grossly underestimate the amount of high, moderate and low habitat, both relative to the written documents and the actual amount of suitable habitat observed in the field. In addition to the mapping problem, there are inappropriate interpretations made in the goshawk ratings documents, both in terms of base site series ratings and the ratings adjustments. Revised site series ratings and adjustment factors are provided. As well, we provide an alternate nesting habitat suitability model, using a Habitat Suitability Index approach, that overcomes fundamental weaknesses associated with suitability ratings based on PEM. One new goshawk nest area was also located during this project.
Mahon, Todd, Wahl, Doug. 2004. Verification of wildlife habitat suitability ratings for the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) in the Otter Creek watershed, Merritt TSA. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR037
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), Northern, goshawk, British, Columbia
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