BlACK Bears in Louisiana and Arkansas
CURRENT STUDENT: Annette Spivy
We are creating a black bear habitat model for all of Louisiana and Arkansas. This model will help to parse out agricultural crops that are a food source for bears and will allow for assessments of potential impact on bear habitat because of future land use change, such as the changes in crop type for biofuel production, or increases in urban land cover around fast-growing towns.
Then, we are determining specific forest and tree metrics of “good” bear habitat by deriving spatial layers of forest characteristics (Canopy Density, Forest height, Forest Biomass) from Lidar data and from FIA data. Identified forest characteristics will be used to determine endpoints for forest best management practices to optimize bear habitat in the GCPO LCC. The final products will be a landscape scale model of black bear habitat throughout the LCC that identifies areas of importance for bears and specific forest management endpoints needed to maintain or create quality bear habitat.