Determining minimum habitat areas and habitat corridors for cougars

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Abstract

Simulated population dynamics of Felis concolor to predict minimum areas and levels of immigration needed to avoid population extinction caused by demographic and environmental stochasticity for a period of 100 yr. The model predicted very low extinction risk in areas as small as 2200 km2, and (in the absence of immigration) increasing risk as area decreased below 2200 km2. If as few as 1-4 animals per decade could immigrate in to a small population, the probability of population persistence increased markedly. Thus a corridor for immigration will benefit a small population in an area where further loss of habitat will occur. The model was applied to the cougar population in the Santa Ana Mountain Range of S California (2070 km2, with c 20 adults). There will be a high risk of extinction if the habitat is reduced to currently protected and connected areas (1114 km2). The last corridor for immigration has been degraded by recent human activity. Within the mountain range, cougars recently became extinct in a 75-km2 habitat fragment recently isolated by development, and cougars will become extinct in another 150-km 2 of habitat if a proposed housing project occludes a critical corridor. -Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-108
Number of pages15
JournalConservation Biology
Volume7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

habitat corridor
Puma concolor
immigration
habitat
habitats
extinction
Population dynamics
housing project
extinction risk
mountains
Animals
stochasticity
Anas
population dynamics
habitat destruction
human activity
persistence
habitat fragmentation
anthropogenic activities
demographic statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Determining minimum habitat areas and habitat corridors for cougars. / Beier, Paul.

In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1993, p. 94-108.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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