Geographic analysis of California condor sighting data

TitleGeographic analysis of California condor sighting data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsStoms, DM, Davis, FW, Cogan, CB, Painho, MO, Duncan, BW, Scepan, J, Scott, JM
JournalConservation Biology
Date Published1993
Keywordshabitat suitability, sensitivity analysis

Observation and habitat data were compiled and analyzed in conjunction with recovery planning for the endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). A geographic information system (GIS) was used to provide a quantitative inventory of recent historical Condor habitats, to measure the association of Condor activity patterns and mapped habitat variables, and to examine spatio-temporal changes in the range of the species during its decline. Only five percent of the study area within the historic range is now used for urban or cultivated agricultural purposes. Observations of Condor feeding perching, and nesting were nonrandomly associated with mapped land cover, in agreement with life history information for the species. The precipitous decline in numbers of Condors in this century produced only a small reduction in the limits of the observed species 'range, as individual birds continued to forage over most of the range. Some critical risk factors such as shooting and lead poisoning are difficult to map and bave not been included in the database Besides the applications demonstrated in this case study, GIS can be a valuable tool for recovery planning, in the design of stratified sampling schemes, or for extrapolation of habitat models over unsurveyed regions. We conclude with recommendations from this case study regarding when to consider using GIS and the importance of pilot studies and sensitivity analysis.

URL<Go to ISI>://A1993KR98600021