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An evaluation of the use of ERTS-1 satellite imagery for grizzly bear habitat analysis

By J. Sumner, J. J. Craighead and J. R. Varney


Multispectral scanner images taken by the ERTS-1 satellite in August and October, 1972, were examined to determine if they would be useful in identifying and mapping favorable habitat for grizzly bears. It was possible to identify areas having a suitable mixture of alpine meadow and timber, and to eliminate those which did not meet the isolation requirements of grizzlies because of farming or grazing activity. High altitude timbered areas mapped from satellite imagery agreed reasonably well with the distribution of whitebark pine, an important food species. Analysis of satellite imagery appears to be a valuable supplement to present ground observation methods, since it allows the most important areas to be identified for intensive study and many others to be eliminated from consideration. A sampling plan can be developed from such data which will minimize field effort and overall program cost

Year: 1973
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