Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Geography

Committee Chair

David Shively

Commitee Members

Anna Klene, Christopher Servheen


European brown bear habitat, northern Spain, Fragmentation, Connectivity


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Geographic Information Sciences | Physical and Environmental Geography | Remote Sensing


The European brown bear in northern Spain is considered to be an endangered species whose habitat has been fragmented into two subpopulations due to habitat loss and lack of connectivity. The importance of improving connectivity and preventing more habitat destruction is vital to recover the species in this region. This research looks at spatial and temporal variations of brown bear habitat by mapping the conditions of habitat fragmentation and potential connectivity at a regional extent. This research examines net changes of brown bear habitat fragmentation between 1990-2000, 2000-2006, and overall 1990-2006; and the degree of brown bear habitat connectivity between subpopulations and at a landscape level for 2006. The purpose of this research is to use fragmentation and connectivity geospatial tools to map the spatial relationships among habitat, potential linkages and barriers, and to identify gaps in managed habitats to assist with restoring habitat connectivity. Based on the fragmentation results, high fragmentation occurred in core habitat between 2000-2006. Habitat connectivity is a measure of how diverse the landscape is based on movement resistance and multiple pathways. It’s important to analyze connectivity at different scales to determine critical areas of concern. The results showed that connectivity is most constrained by human infrastructure, and this can be viewed as a challenge for brown bear recovery in the study area.



© Copyright 2015 Alma D. Pacheco