We tested predictions of the California Wildlife Habitat Relationships (CWHR) System in coastal scrub and annual grassland. We detected a total of 28 species of terrestrial vertebrates: 18 mammals, 9 reptiles, and 1 amphibian. The CWHR System prediction omitted 4 of these species: 3 domestic mammals and 1 reptile. For the 2 habitats combined, CWHR predicted a total of 38 species: 23 mammals, 13 reptiles, and 2 amphibians. We detected 64% of these predicted grassland species and 71% of predicted coastal scrub species. For the habitats combined, we detected 65% of the species predicted to be present by the CWHR System. We detected 68% of the mammals, 62% of the reptiles, and 50% of the amphibians predicted for these habitats. The CWHR System theoretically predicts absence rather than presence, since it is assumed that all 288 regularly occurring mammals, reptiles, and amphibians occur anywhere unless one can argue that a specific habitat, location, or habitat element is not available. By including predictions of species absence in the assessment of model performance, observed accuracy of the CWHR model predictions increased to 96% for both habitats.
Additional publication details
California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System: A test in coastal scrub and annual grassland habitats