Subtitle/Alternate Title

Species Distribution Model for Moose In Jefferson County, Colorado

First Advisor

John Sakulich

Second Advisor

Daniela Rivarola

Third Advisor

Tyler Imfeld

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Mike Ghedotti


Regis College

Degree Name

MS Environmental Biology


Regis University

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

53 pages


Human wildlife interactions (HWI) pose a complex challenge for wildlife managers. Human encroachment into wildlife habitat and the growing number of outdoor recreationists are increasing the frequency of contact and conflict, especially in regions such as the Front Range of Colorado. Geographic information systems (GIS), which use a combination of remote sensing and environmental survey data, allow for predictive spatial analyses of where human wildlife interactions are likely to occur. I used publicly reported observations of moose to create spatial predictive maps in a species distribution model framework. Slope and elevation were shown to be the strongest predictors of HWI, and additional environmental variables added modest predictive power to the SDM. Additionally, a parsimonious model is presented here for a streamlined and practical framework for future monitoring and analysis. Investigation of suitable habitats based on recent observations provides land managers information to identify the likely locations of human-moose encounters. This study identifies the spatial distribution of moose in the wildland urban interface, the potential for increasing populations in nearby suitable habitats, and subsequent implications for wildlife managers.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.

Rights Statement

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