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A Metapopulation Approach to Recovery of the Five-Lined Skink Using Rehabilitated Aggregate Extraction Sites

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Title: A Metapopulation Approach to Recovery of the Five-Lined Skink Using Rehabilitated Aggregate Extraction Sites
Author: Cameron, Melissa
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Abstract: Protecting existing habitat for species-at-risk is an important conservation measure; however, many populations occupy highly fragmented habitat patches to the extent that population persistence is unlikely without the creation of new habitat patches. This research examines the potential for clusters of rehabilitated aggregate extraction sites to be used as reintroduction sites for species-at-risk. Using a method combining GIS and metapopulation modeling, I evaluated the success of establishing metapopulations of the Five-Lined Skink, Eumeces fasciatus, in 137 clusters of aggregate extraction sites using three hypothetical recovery scenarios. Patch abundance and patch clustering had a significant negative effect on metapopulation extinction risk. Increasing the quality of a single patch relative to other patches of suitable quality had little effect on extinction risk and patch occupancy. Introducing all individuals into a single patch decreased extinction risk and patch occupancy. Rehabilitated aggregate sites could play a role in the protection of species-at-risk in Ontario.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/1904
Date: 2009-03-03


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