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Conference abstract2011Peer reviewed

Using kriging regression to detect change in reindeer distribution in relation to human development

Rönnegård, Lars; Skarin, Anna


Wind power is a promising source of alternative renewable energy, but there is concern about adverse effects on key species in both the boreal forest and mountain areas. Ecological information is needed in assessing the impacts and conflicts of proposed wind turbines. Proper planning is critical to avoid and minimize negative habitat impacts. To detect if semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), which are herded in a pastoral system, are affected by these infrastructural changes spatial distribution of reindeer faecal pellet groups will be analyzed before and after wind power development. In this presentation we will compare two consecutive years (2009 and 2010) before wind power development in Malå reindeer herding district in northern Sweden (N 65°13', E 18°54'). In this area two wind-power parks (8 and 10 power plants) are built within 5 km distance from each other. Faecal pellet-group counts are used to estimate reindeer resource selection at population level at both the local and regional scale (within 2 and 20 km respectively, from the planned wind power parks). Interpolation of the pellet-group counts are estimated by using regression-kriging, where the number of pellet groups are correlated with vegetation type, altitude, terrain ruggedness, slope, aspect, distance to roads, and to wind power plants and other infrastructure such as power lines and mines. Generalized linear models are used to the fit the regression models since the pellet-group counts are close to a Poisson distribution. Preliminary results shows that the pellet density increases with altitude and in proximity to roads at the local scale but, while at the regional scale the pellet density is indifferent to altitude and roads and more dependent on vegetation type. This confirms the importance of regional scale perspective when studying avoidance behavior of animals in relation to human constructions and infrastructure.

Published in

Publisher: Elsevier


1st Conference on Spatial Statistics