at Wed Jan 26 23:10:33 2011 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]
As a graduate in wildlife science and a field biologist, I am a firm believer in habitat association. That is, if species 'X' has been documented at sites A and C with similar habitat characteristics, but not at site B with the same type of habitat, it can be predicted with a high degree of confidence and probability that species 'X' occurs at site B.
When I was doing my study on the Southern Rubber Boa in the San Bernardino Mts. between 1993 and 1997, I drove highways 18, 330 and 30 up into the San Bernardino Mts. At between the 2500 and 3500 foot level on Hwy. 18, I encountered a fresh DOR Rosy Boa. There is similar, if not identical habitat east of highway 18 along highways 330, 38, and to the east where the Rosy has been documented. So the odds are overwhelming that the boa occurs somewhere in the vicinity of Hwy. 38.
As an example of predicting species occurrence via habitat association, simply by knowing the elevation then viewing the habitat on the Scodie Mts. with binoculars, it appear that suitable Rubber Boa habitat occurred at the upper elevations of that small mountain range. The species had been found on the Southern Kern Plateau to the north and Piute Mts, Breckenridge Mt. and Greenhorn Mts to the west.
Although the habitat was somewhat different in the Sodies from that in the Piutes, Breckenridge and Greenhorns to the west, it was quite similar to habitat in parts of the S. Kern Plateau near Kennedy meadows where the Rubber Boa had been documented. Thus in 2000, I predicted the boa would likely occur in the Scodies which then turned out to be confirmed in 2002.
Similarly, the species was first found in 2002 on Frazier Mt. just west of Tejon Pass with habitat quite similar to where the boa had been documented earlier on Mt. Pinos to the west and Alamo Mt. to the south. Then in the mid 1990's, it was easy to predict that the SRB occurred on Yucaipa Ridge which had both the elevation and similar habitat to where the SRB has been documented in nearby areas of the San Bernardino Mts.. That turned out to be a reality just a few years ago.
Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)
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