Date of Award
Master of Science
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Michael R. Pelton
David Buehler, Joe Clark, John New
An elk Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model was developed to study the feasibility of reintroducing elk (Cervus elaphus) into Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), TN and NC. The variables and indices identified in the model were the result of data gathered from: (1) a literature review, (2) field tours, (3) interagency discussions, and (4) on-site data collection and evaluation. The model was subdivided into forest area and open area, each having a separate set of variables. The model for forested area was based on evaluation of three variables associated with food and water, one to evaluate cover requirements, one related to topography, one related to interspersion of cover types, and three related to human influences. The model for open areas was based on evaluation of two variables for food and water, one related to cover, one associated with topography, and three related to human influences. Suitability index curves were assigned to each variable.
Long, James R. (Bob), "Feasibility Assessment for the Reintroduction of North American Elk into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1996.