Decision support tools that predict fish distribution over broad spatial scales are needed to assist in planning watershed management and endangered species recovery. We developed a geographical information system model with multivariate logistic regression to rank valley segments for probable occurrence of the endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka) using stream condition variables (stream size, groundwater potential, channel slope, streamflow, network position) and land-cover variables (percent pasture, percent trees) in streams characteristic of the North American Great Plains. The stream condition and land-cover models correctly classified 89% and 68% of outcomes (i.e., presence or absence), respectively. Field tests of maps of predicted species distribution resulted in more species occurrences than expected in valley segments classified as high potential for presence and less than expected in low-potential valley segments. Gaps between high-priority segments and protected land parcels were found in all basins. In 37 basins with Topeka shiners, protected land coverage was <1% in 17 basins, 1-5% in 10 basins, and 5-21.8% in 10 basins. Conservation activities in gaps are long-term conservation measures, but maps of predicted species distribution have many immediate applications.
Additional Publication Details
Fish-habitat modeling for gap analysis to conserve the endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka)
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences