JDJCSET | Sigma Xi Poster Competition

Title

Comparison of Potential Elk Habitat in Kentucky Using Remote Sensing and GIS

Presenter Information

Alex ClineFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Environmental Geology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Haluk Cetin

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Elk have recently been reintroduced to their native range in Kentucky. Using a mixture of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through ArcMap and Imagine software potential elk habitat for future generations have been mapped. These areas have been designated by vegetation significance to Knott County Kentucky. Knott County has annually harvested the most elk in Kentucky dating back to the earliest available data on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) website from 2005. A sixteen county zone has been designated by KDFWR as the Elk Quota Hunting Zone. Many counties around the state show similarities and differences.

With the use of the US Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Explorer, Landsat images have been extracted and used in Imagine with Model Maker to create layerstack images. Then an NDVI layer was created of that area. This was repeated throughout the state and outside of the elk zone that found vegetation similarities and differences. Elliot County and western Trigg County showed the most potential for future expansion of elk. Fayette and Jefferson counties showed the least likelihood of maintaining an elk population.

Elk are a vital resource to Kentucky and are public property, as is all wildlife in Kentucky. Elk generate substantial revenue that serves multiple purposes. For the 2017 elk permit draw 35,379 applications were submitted generating $353,790. That money is directly put back into wildlife and habitat management. Elk also provide several hundred pounds of meat to the hunter or donated through projects ran by KDFWR.

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Sigma Xi Poster Competition

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Comparison of Potential Elk Habitat in Kentucky Using Remote Sensing and GIS

Elk have recently been reintroduced to their native range in Kentucky. Using a mixture of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through ArcMap and Imagine software potential elk habitat for future generations have been mapped. These areas have been designated by vegetation significance to Knott County Kentucky. Knott County has annually harvested the most elk in Kentucky dating back to the earliest available data on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) website from 2005. A sixteen county zone has been designated by KDFWR as the Elk Quota Hunting Zone. Many counties around the state show similarities and differences.

With the use of the US Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Explorer, Landsat images have been extracted and used in Imagine with Model Maker to create layerstack images. Then an NDVI layer was created of that area. This was repeated throughout the state and outside of the elk zone that found vegetation similarities and differences. Elliot County and western Trigg County showed the most potential for future expansion of elk. Fayette and Jefferson counties showed the least likelihood of maintaining an elk population.

Elk are a vital resource to Kentucky and are public property, as is all wildlife in Kentucky. Elk generate substantial revenue that serves multiple purposes. For the 2017 elk permit draw 35,379 applications were submitted generating $353,790. That money is directly put back into wildlife and habitat management. Elk also provide several hundred pounds of meat to the hunter or donated through projects ran by KDFWR.