Year of Publication
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Songlin Fei
Florida is expanding its urban borders into areas of the native habitat. Increased expansion is predicted through the next several decades. Several sections of the state are home to large carnivores, such as Florida panther and black bear, which are important to ecosystem function. Expansion of roads and urban centers will greatly reduce the quality and quantity of carnivore habitat. In this study, I used Euclidean distance analyses and very high frequency (VHF) telemetry points to produce distance categories in which carnivores either have a negative/neutral/positive association with roads and urban centers. The seven black bear populations followed four different trends: 1) Slight avoidance of roads and urban centers, 2) strong avoidance of roads and urban centers, 3) neutrality toward roads and urban centers, and 3) one population with a positive association of roads. Florida panther showed strong avoidance to roads and urban centers. Finally I modeled Florida panther and black bear habitat using Maximum Entropy Species Distribution software and placed future urban expansion and sea level incursions associated with climate change over the habitat to find high priority conservation areas.
Whittle, Andrew James, "FLORIDA PANTHER AND BLACK BEAR: A ROAD AND URBAN AVOIDANCE/UTILIZATION ANALYSIS AND IMPACTS OF LAND USE AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON LARGE CARNIVORE HABITAT IN FLORIDA" (2009). University of Kentucky Master's Theses. 618.