Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Vermont
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Vermont Project

Predicting Impacts of Future Human Population Growth and Development on Forest-dependent Wildlife Species

January 2009 - June 2012


Participating Agencies

  • USFS McIntire-Stennis

Forest loss is perhaps the most important contemporary issue in the Northeast for wildlife species. Given increasing forest loss and fragmentation, the “problem” of how native fauna will respond to eminent land-use change is widespread, and requires tools and methods for understanding population responses as well as management recommendations for conservation. This study will integrate wildlife habitat modeling with GIS models of human population growth to quantify how various forest-dependent wildlife species will respond to projected increases in human population growth (year 2020) for the state of Vermont. The Vermont Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Researcher is collaborating with Dr. David Theobald (Colorado State University) on this work. The study will advance conservation planning by: 1) providing GIS layers on the contemporary distribution (probability of occurrence) for selected forest-dependent species; and 2) providing GIS layers that quantify risk for these same species given future human population growth and development.

Research Publications Publication Date
Brown, M. L., T. M. Donovan, W. S. Schwenk, and D. M. Theobald. 2013. Predicting impacts of future human population growth and development on occupancy rates of forest-dependent birds . Biological Conservation. Available online 31 October 2013, ISSN 0006-3207, | Abstract | Download | Publisher Website October 2013
Brown, M. L., T. M. Donovan, R. M. Mickey, G. S. Warrington, W. S. Schwenk, and D. S. Theobald. 2017. Predicting effects of future development on a territorial forest songbird: methodology matters. Landscape Ecology 33:93-108. DOI 10.1007/s10980-017-0586-8 | Abstract | Download | Publisher Website October 2017