Abstract

After almost a century of absence, gray wolves (Canis lupus) are beginning to recolonize California. Based on current knowledge of wolf habitat use, we developed an expert opinion model to explore the prospects for wolf recovery in Northern California. In our model, we consider the following variables: ungulate prey availability, forest canopy cover, human population density, road density, and livestock distribution. The resulting maps predict favorable wolf habitat and identify areas with high potential for wolf–human conflict in Northern California. Validation and refinement of our model will be possible once California-specific wolf distribution data becomes available. Until then, the preliminary findings from this study can inform management of this endangered species.
via Recolonizing Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) in Northern California: Preliminary Analysis of Suitable Areas for Reoccupancy