Perzanowski K., Pędziwiatr K., Konieczna P., Śmiełowski J.

Proposed migration corridors for large mammals in the south-east of Polish Carpathians

Abstract The aim of the study was the delineation of migratory corridors migration for large mammals between the Ukrainian Carpathians and the western part of their range in Poland. Potential corridors for the wolf (Canis lupus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), lynx (Lynx lynx), wisent (Bison bonasus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa) were identified within 534,818 ha with the ArcGIS Corridor Designer software. Corridors of regional importance (42,283 ha in total) and local connections between habitat patches (13,154 ha) were delineated separately according to the least-cost path criterion. We identified 115 critical points where heavy traffic, or the proximity of settlements, could obstruct animal movements. A considerable number of such critical points indicate the urgency for ensuring the functionality of the remaining linkage. The permeability of barriers between habitat patches was determined by ground observations, confirming the presence of target species. The highest proportion of patches estimated by experts as optimal and suboptimal was for wild boar (91%), while the lowest for lynx (52%). The proportion of habitats avoided or useless due to anthropogenic barriers was 34% for lynx, 25% for wisents, and 19% for brown bears.


Keywords ecological corridors; the Carpathians; large mammals; habitat suitability; GIS

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