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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Wallin, David O.
Rice, Clifford Gustav, 1950-
Medler, Michael J.
A 70-90% decline in mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) populations in Washington State over the past few decades has spurred the need for an improved understanding of seasonal goat-habitat relationships. Habitat use data have been collected from 46 radio-collared mountain goats across their native range in Washington State. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), I explored relationships between use and availability of habitat. To overcome issues of autocorrelation, I compared actual mountain goat paths with available paths of matched identical spatial topology and used multi-scale path analysis to explore various ecologically informed relationships between landscape structure and the movements of mountain goats at the home range scale. I extracted used and available (randomized) paths at 4 scales of analysis using square extraction windows of 0.06, 4.4, 15.2, and 56.2 ha that were centered on each point along the path. Matched case logistic regression allowed me to determine the spatially and temporally explicit scales that were the strongest predictors of seasonal and year-round mountain goat habitat from a suite of predictor variables. I found that for year-round habitat, mountain goats chose both abiotic and biotic components of their landscape including; parkland, areas of high solar loading, terrain that is rugged, and terrain that allows escape from predators. This analysis represents one of the most extensive landscape-level habitat relationship studies conducted on mountain goats. Additionally, my methodological approach is applicable to other species-habitat association analyses.
Western Washington University
North Cascades (B.C. and Wash.)
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Beus, Tana, "Habitat modeling using path analysis: delineating mountain goat habitat in the Washington Cascades" (2010). WWU Graduate School Collection. 85.