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Coordinating Science and Land Management across the Nature Reserve of Orange County

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Assessing Effectiveness of Adaptive Recreation Management Strategies and Evaluation of Core NCCP/HCP Habitat Areas

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Local Assistance Grant-Final Report

Recreation management is one of four key management elements of the County of Orange Central and Coastal Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan (NCCP/HCP) Habitat Management Program. This project focuses on assessment of temporal changes in activity of seven key mammal species, response to pulses of human activity, and seasonal patterns and associated changes in wildlife sensitivity. Specific questions about space use and anthropogenic effects with movement data on the bobcat, a medium-sized obligate carnivore strongly associated with natural habitat, are addressed. Subtler effects of adjacent urbanization are characterized by the measuring and modeling of light pollution patterns across a portion of the NCCP/HCP Reserve.

Wildlife avoidance was evident regardless of species, type of human activity, and camera placement. The overall trend is sharply negative: as human activity increases, mammal activity decreases. Marked increase in human-use of wildlands over the last nine years coupled with observed temporal and spatial shifts by wildlife due to human presence highlights the importance of developing an over-arching, adaptive recreation management plan for the NCCP/HCP Reserve.

To view report, click on photo.

Project Team
Principal Investigator – Michael Patten, University of Oklahoma
Co-Principal Investigator – Jutta Burger, Irvine Ranch Conservancy
Technical Advising – Erin Boydston, Jeff Tracey, USGS
Agency Advisors – Christine Beck, California Department of Fish and Wildlife,
Will Miller, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Project Director – Milan Mitrovich, Natural Communities Coalition

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