Kansas, John L. 2003. Effects of Mapping Scale, Disturbance Coefficients and Season on Grizzly Bear Habitat Effectiveness Models in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Master’s Degree Project, Resources and the Environment Program, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
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By John L. Kansas
(a thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the reqirements for the degree of
Master of Science, Resources and the Environment Program, University of Calgary)
Habitat effectiveness (HE) modeling was conducted for 13 Bear Management Units (BMU’s) in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Three digital human use maps were developed differing only in their disturbance coefficients for human use features. These maps were overlain with grizzly bear habitat suitability maps derived from three levels (scales) of habitat mapping. Differences in disturbance coefficients did not significantly change HE values for BMUs between any combination of map levels. Physiographic location of BMUs (i.e. Front Ranges vs. Foothills) was found to significantly change habitat effectiveness values between all combinations of map levels. Differences in season caused significant changes in mean habitat effectiveness only when the most detailed mapping level that included topography was included in the comparison. Changes in disturbance coefficients and physiographic location were found to strongly change habitat effectiveness values within all map levels. It is recommended that topography be integrated into grizzly bear habitat models in order to detect seasonal effects.