Most national parks interact with adjacent lands because their boundaries fail to encompass all regional habitats, species pools, and migration routes. Activities planned for adjacent lands can have adverse effects on park resources and visitor experiences. For example, fragmentation of adjacent habitat into smaller and more isolated remnants may influence the suitability of park habitat for a wide range of species and limit animal dispersal pathways, which may influence visitor experiences and park resources as well as the energy balance and population dynamics of the animals themselves. In this study, we examined habitat fragmentation consequences owing to a planned 1,295 hectare development by Winter Harbor Holding Company (WHHC) adjacent to the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park (ANP), Maine. Specifically, we examined the effects of development on (a) core natural habitat area (a cross-habitat indicator of fragmentation), (b) the suitability of habitat for bobcat, fisher, mink, and moose, and (c) the movement of these four species between ANP and other nearby protected areas (species specific indicators of fragmentation). Our intention was to assist ANP staff in forecasting both the general and specific effects of development on natural habitat area, habitat suitability, and animal movement, which would allow them to develop suitable management alternatives.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Anticipated effects of development on habitat fragmentation and movement of mammals into and out of the Schoodic District, Acadia National Park, Maine