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Title: Spatial optimization of prairie dog colonies for black-footed ferret recovery

Author: Bevers, Michael; Hof, John G.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Schenbeck, Gregory L.;

Date: 1997

Source: Operations research. 45(4): 495-507

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: A discrete-time reaction-diffusion model for black-footed ferret release, population growth, and dispersal is combined with ferret carrying capacity constraints based on prairie dog population management decisions to form a spatial optimization model. Spatial arrangement of active prairie dog colonies within a ferret reintroduction area is optimized over time for maximum expected adult ferret population. This modeling approach is applied in an exploratory case study to a black-footed ferret reintroduction program in Badlands National Park and Buffalo Gap National Grassland, South Dakota. The model is currently being used to evaluate prairie dog population management alternatives and captive-bred ferret release locations for the Buffalo Gap National Grassland. This approach is also being adapted for use on other grasslands and with other species in the northern Great Plains.

Keywords: Mustela nigripes, ferrets, habitat allocation, endangered species, recovery, probability, diffusion, dynamic spatial population optimization,

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Bevers, Michael; Hof, John G.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Schenbeck, Gregory L. 1997. Spatial optimization of prairie dog colonies for black-footed ferret recovery. Operations research. 45(4): 495-507


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