The purpose of this analysis was to determine suitable wolf habitat within Algonquin Provincial Park, and explore wolf habitat distributions in response to forest fire risks within the park. The expected results were achieved given the model output, as the GIS analysis imposing forest fire risk information generated less suitable area (8.7%) than the initial wolf habitat analysis (21.8%). This reduces viable habitat by more than half. The study utilized multiple scientifically-proven selection criteria and constraints to measure habitat suitability. Based on the output and assuming negligible error, it can be concluded that the abundance and distribution of available habitat can be severely impacted in the event of a forest fire. With increased disturbance to natural areas as a result of climate change and human influence, preserving and protecting valuable habitat should be a key conservation goal.
This study is an excellent progression towards improving wildlife management strategies. This is achieved through not only providing valuable information on potential current habitat of a keystone species, but also through predicting future habitat distributions in response to natural disturbances. Through this study and additional studies of similar nature, those involved in resource management decision making and policy development can incorporate scientific studies like this one into the decision making process. This allows for improved management practices, as well as overall enhanced conservation efforts for natural environments and their valued species within.