Cumulative effects of development on pronghorn distribution and movements in the Northern Sagebrush Steppe

In North America, the prairies of the Great Plains represent an important natural region and provide crucial ecological goods and services for both humans and wildlife. The intern's research looks to evaluate cumulative effects of development on multi]scalar habitat and movement pathway selections of pronghorn, considered an indicator species for the overall health of prairie ecosystems, across the Northern Sagebrush Steppe (NSS). Statistical models based on empirical data will be developed, representing the relative probability of seasonal occurrence of pronghorn in native habitat landscape units across the NSS. The models will be used to create maps representing seasonal ranges (winter, fawning and summer) for all landscape units. Secondly, The intern will develop connectivity models to illustrate the relative effectiveness of corridors linking seasonal habitats within and between landscape units in the NSS. Models and associated maps should help identify both crucial habitats and critical linkage zones required for pronghorn sustainability. Beneficial conservation designs address both ecological and social needs of large]scale systems such as the NSS. This project will integrate ecological and land use data to offer conservation design options for the untilled grassland landscapes remaining in the NSS.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Cormack Gates


Andrew Jakes




Architecture and design


Fisheries and wildlife


University of Calgary



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