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Title: Evaluation of geospatial data to characterise upland water vole Arvicola terrestris habitat at Grains in the Water and Swains Greave in the Peak District, Derbyshire
Author: Millin, Gail
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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Evaluation of aerial photographs, LiDAR imagery and GPS survey points was conducted to characterise water vole habitat at Grains in the Water and Swains Greave, in the Peak District. Justification for the study is to explore an affective way to monitor water vole habitat in relation to water vole signs utilising GIS. The water vole is a rapidly declining native species (Strachan and Strachan, 2003). The geospatial data was evaluated in terms of integration and extraction. The aerial photography provided a basis for vegetation mapping after visual interpretation. The aerial photograph required geometric correction and an average control point RMSE of 4.17m for the Grains in the Water site, using a 2nd order polynomial model was achieved. Extraction of slope, aspect, stream proximity and elevation were achieved using LiDAR imagery. Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient highlighted a significant relationship between water vole latrine density with slope at the 0.01 significance level for 4m and 6m resolution data (Grains in the Water). The Swains Greave site supported this result with a 0.01 significance level for 6m resolution slope data. Elevation and aspect did not show a significant correlation with latrine density at Grains in the Water. The main conclusion is that water vole habitat cannot be solely characterised by aerial photography and LiDAR data, as other habitat variables could affect water vole distributions, which cannot be extracted from these geospatial data e.g. pH, bank exposure and stream depth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Water Voles ; Aerial Photography ; LiDAR ; Habitat Survey ; Geographical Information Systems