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Wilhere, G.F., N.H. Schumaker, and S.P. Horton. 2001. A spatially realistic population model for informing forest management decisions. Pages 538-544 in D.H. Johnson and T.A. O’Neill, editors, Wildlife-habitat relationships in Oregon and Washington. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.

Spatially realistic population models (SRPMs) address a fundamental problem commonly confronted by wildlife managers– predicting the effects of landscape-scale habitat management on an animal population. SRPMs typically consist of three submodels: (1) a habitat submodel, (2) a movement submodel, and (3) a demographic submodel. We describe the submodels and data requirements for the typical SRPM. The most frustrating problem with SRPMs is the lack of data needed to relate movement and demographic parameters to habitat quality. We developed a SRPM to evaluate the relative effects of different habitat management strategies on the spotted owl subpopulation of the Olympic Peninsula. This case study documents some plausible assumptions we made to circumvent the data problem and explains an approach called "parameter tuning" that we used to generate parameter values.

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