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Erica Fleishman

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This data product contains combined estimates of high habitat quality areas for mountain lion, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, and black bear. The analysis area was a 236,000 square kilometers that encompassed the Navajo Nation, which includes portions of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. The estimates of habitat quality were created with spatially explicit habitat variables and either an expert-based linear combination process (for mountain lion and mule deer) or a generalized linear mixed model-based estimation that used radio-collar telemetry data (for desert bighorn sheep, black bear, and pronghorn; collected between 2005-2011). Habitat variables varied among species but included vegetation type, terrain ruggedness,...
Abstract (from Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation): The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to map and monitor the environment has increased sharply in the last few years. Many individuals and organizations have purchased consumer‐grade UAVs, and commonly acquire aerial photographs to map land cover. The resulting ultra‐high‐resolution (sub‐decimeter‐resolution) imagery has high information content, but automating the extraction of this information to create accurate, wall‐to‐wall land‐cover maps is quite difficult. We introduce image‐processing workflows that are based on open‐source software and can be used to create land‐cover maps from ultra‐high‐resolution aerial imagery. We compared four machine‐learning...
Abstract (from PLOS ONE): The responses of individuals and populations to climate change vary as functions of physiology, ecology, and plasticity. We investigated whether annual variation in seasonal temperature and precipitation was associated with relative abundances of breeding bird species at local and regional levels in southern California, USA, from 1968–2013. We tested our hypotheses that abundances were correlated positively with precipitation and negatively with temperature in this semiarid to arid region. We also examined whether responses to climate varied among groups of species with similar land-cover associations, nesting locations, and migratory patterns. We investigated relations between seasonal...
We aimed to improve the scientific capacity to estimate climate extremes, evaluate their effects on natural resources, and enhance a platform for derivation of and access to customized climate information for the full extent of the Southwest. Extreme climate can have substantial effects on species, ecological and evolutionary processes, and the health of visitors to public lands. Researchers generally can specify the climate-extreme metrics, and the extents and resolutions of those metrics, most relevant to their scientific objectives and the practical applications of their work. However, such application-specific data rarely are available. We screened global climate models (GCMs) on the basis of their realism...
We propose to enhance the adaptive-management capacity and meet the information needs of the Navajo Nation, address focal issues identified by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA), and advance collaborative decision-support methods across the southern Rocky Mountains. The Navajo Nation has embarked on its first 10-year strategic planning process to guide management of its fishes, terrestrial animals, and plants of ecological and cultural significance. The project will provide estimates of habitat connectivity for focal species on the Navajo Nation and adjacent lands that the Nation wishes to incorporate into planning and implementation of adaptive management. Proposed work further will support assessment of...
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