WorldWideScience

Sample records for grassland bird habitat

  1. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  2. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  3. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  4. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  5. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Ribic, Christine A; McCauley, Lisa A

    2018-02-06

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperate grasslands have been disproportionally affected by climate change relative to most other terrestrial biomes. Distributions of grassland birds often correlate with gradients in climate, but few researchers have explored the consequences of weather on the demography of grassland birds inhabiting a range of grassland fragments. To do so, we modeled the effects of temperature and precipitation on nesting success rates of 12 grassland bird species inhabiting a range of grassland patches across North America (21,000 nests from 81 individual studies). Higher amounts of precipitation in the preceding year were associated with higher nesting success, but wetter conditions during the active breeding season reduced nesting success. Extremely cold or hot conditions during the early breeding season were associated with lower rates of nesting success. The direct and indirect influence of temperature and precipitation on nesting success was moderated by grassland patch size. The positive effects of precipitation in the preceding year on nesting success were strongest in relatively small grassland patches and had little effect in large patches. Conversely, warm temperatures reduced nesting success in small grassland patches but increased nesting success in large patches. Mechanisms underlying these differences may be patch-size-induced variation in microclimates and predator activity. Although the exact cause is unclear, large grassland patches, the most common metric of grassland conservation, appears to moderate the effects of weather on grassland-bird demography and could be an effective component of climate-change adaptation.

  6. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

  7. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates

  8. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  9. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  10. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  11. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Riffell

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

  12. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

  13. Risk of Agricultural Practices and Habitat Change to Farmland Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Anthony. Kirk

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Many common bird species have declined as a result of agricultural intensification and this could be mitigated by organic farming. We paired sites for habitat and geographical location on organic and nonorganic farms in Ontario, Canada to test a priori predictions of effects on birds overall, 9 guilds and 22 species in relation to candidate models for farming practices (13 variables, local habitat features (12 variables, or habitat features that influence susceptibility to predation. We found that: (1 Overall bird abundance, but not richness, was significantly (p < 0.05 higher on organic sites (mean 43.1 individuals per site than nonorganic sites (35.8 individuals per site. Significantly more species of birds were observed for five guilds, including primary grassland birds, on organic vs. nonorganic sites. No guild had higher richness or abundance on nonorganic farms; (2 Farming practice models were the best (Î"AIC < 4 for abundance of birds overall, primary grassland bird richness, sallier aerial insectivore richness and abundance, and abundance of ground nesters; (3 Habitat models were the best for overall richness, Neotropical migrant abundance, richness and abundance of Ontario-USA-Mexico (short-distance migrants and resident richness; (4 Predation models were the best for richness of secondary grassland birds and ground feeders; (5 A combination of variables from the model types were best for richness or abundance overall, 13 of 18 guilds (richness and abundance and 16 of 22 species analyzed. Five of 10 farming practice variables (including herbicide use, organic farm type and 9 of 13 habitat variables (including hedgerow length, proportion of hay were significant in best models. Risk modeling indicated that herbicide use could decrease primary grassland birds by one species (35% decline from 3.4 to 2.3 species per site. Organic farming could benefit species of conservation concern by 49% (an increase from 7.6 to 11.4 grassland birds. An

  14. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  15. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  16. Density and success of bird nests relative to grazing on western Montana grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Thomas F.; Ball, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Grassland birds are declining at a faster rate than any other group of North American bird species. Livestock grazing is the primary economic use of grasslands in the western United States, but the effects of this use on distribution and productivity of grassland birds are unclear. We examined nest density and success of ground-nesting birds on grazed and ungrazed grasslands in western Montana. In comparison to grazed plots, ungrazed plots had reduced forb cover, increased litter cover, increased litter depth, and increased visual obstruction readings (VOR) of vegetation. Nest density among 10 of 11 common bird species was most strongly correlated with VOR of plots, and greatest nest density for each species occurred where mean VOR of the plot was similar to mean VOR at nests. Additionally, all bird species were relatively consistent in their choice of VOR at nests despite substantial differences in VOR among plots. We suggest that birds selected plots based in part on availability of suitable nest sites and that variation in nest density relative to grazing reflected the effect of grazing on availability of nest sites. Nest success was similar between grazed plots and ungrazed plots for two species but was lower for nests on grazed plots than on ungrazed plots for two other species because of increased rates of predation, trampling, or parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Other species nested almost exclusively on ungrazed plots (six species) or grazed plots (one species), precluding evaluation of the effects of grazing on nest success. We demonstrate that each species in a diverse suite of ground-nesting birds preferentially used certain habitats for nesting and that grazing altered availability of preferred nesting habitats through changes in vegetation structure and plant species composition. We also show that grazing directly or indirectly predisposed some bird species to increased nesting mortality. Management alternatives that avoid

  17. Edge effects at an induced forest-grassland boundary: forest birds in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bird species diversity and guild composition between the edge (5-10 m from the margin) of primary forest abutting grassland and the deep interior (> 500 m from the margin) in the Dngoye Forest Reserve were compared. Edge and interior sites were chosen that were homogeneous with respect to habitat physiognomy i.e. ...

  18. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  19. Breeding Biology of Grassland Birds in Western New York: Conservation and Management Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Norment

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.

  20. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  1. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  2. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003–2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2–5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios.

  3. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  4. Potential for enhancing nongame bird habitat values on abandoned mine lands of western North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burley, J.B.; Hopkins, R.B.

    1984-01-01

    Throughout western North Dakota the number of unreclaimed surface coal and coal-uranium mines might total over 1100. We examined the potential for enhancing the nongame bird habitat values of unreclaimed mine lands in the arid, western region of North Dakota. Generally, the greatest variety of birds occurred in natural and planted woodlands, while fewer birds occurred in unreclaimed mine lands, grasslands, shrublands and croplands. Deciduous woodland types supported more species of birds than coniferous types. Planted woodlands supported about the same number of bird species as some natural deciduous woodland types and more species than coniferous woods. Unreclaimed mine lands supported more species than grasslands and croplands, and about the same number of species as native shrublands. The highest bird densities were in planted woodlands. Bird diversity varied positively with habitat diversity. The bird fauna of unreclaimed mine lands can be enhanced by creating more diverse habitats. Seventeen guidelines to enhance unreclaimed mine lands for nongame birds are presented. These guidelines can be used in preserving habitats threatened by surface mining and reclaiming previously mined lands

  5. Direct effects of cattle on grassland birds in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleho, Barbara I; Koper, Nicola; Machtans, Craig S

    2014-06-01

    Effects of grazing on grassland birds are generally thought to be indirect, through alteration of vegetation structure; however, livestock can also affect nest survival directly through trampling and other disturbances (e.g., livestock-induced abandonment). We extracted data on nest fates from 18 grazing studies conducted in Canada. We used these data to assess rates of nest destruction by cattle among 9 ecoregions and between seasonal and rotational grazing systems. Overall, few nests were destroyed by cattle (average 1.5% of 9132 nests). Nest destruction was positively correlated with grazing pressure (i.e., stocking rate or grazing intensity), but nest survival was higher in more heavily grazed areas for some species. Because rates of destruction of grassland bird nests by cattle are low in Canada, management efforts to reduce such destruction may not be of ecological or economic value in Canada. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    During the past few decades numbers of some species of upland-nesting birds in North America have declined. Duck species such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern pintail (A. acuta) and blue-winged teal (A. discors) have declined since the early 1970s and have remained low since 1985 (Caithamer et al. 1993). Some grassland-dependent nonwaterfowl species also have declined since 1966, as indicated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Robbins et al. 1986). For prairie-nesting ducks, population declines can be attributed mostly to low recruitment, partially as a result of low nest success. Klett et al. (1988) concluded that nest success (probability of ≥1 egg of clutch hatches) in much of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region was inadequate to maintain populations of the five most common upland-nesting duck species studied, and that predators were the most important cause of nest failure. Over the years, as grassland areas have been converted to cropland, ducks have concentrated their nesting in the remaining areas of available habitat, where predators such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and badger (Taxidea taxus) forage (Cowardin et al. 1983). The reasons for declining populations of grassland nonwaterfowl birds are not clear but the loss of suitable grassland-nesting habitat probably is an important factor. Currently, approximately 95 percent of the land in North Dakota is used for agricultural purposes, of which over 60 percent is used for annual crop production (Haugse 1990). Of the grassland that remains, 95 percent is used for livestock production. This probably had a severe impact on grassland bird species that seek idle grass cover for nesting. The 1985 and 1990 U.S. Farm Bills include provisions under the Food Security Act to fund a cropland-idling program called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Over 36 million acres have been enrolled nationwide in the CRP since 1985 (Osborn 1993), and up to 25 percent of

  7. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  8. Semi-arid grassland bird responses to patch-burn grazing and drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Augustine, David J.; Derner, Justin D.

    2018-01-01

    As grassland birds of central North America experience steep population declines with changes in land use, management of remaining tracts becomes increasingly important for population viability. The integrated use of fire and grazing may enhance vegetation heterogeneity and diversity in breeding birds, but the subsequent effects on reproduction are unknown. We examined the influence of patch-burn grazing management in shortgrass steppe in eastern Colorado on habitat use and reproductive success of 3 grassland bird species, horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), and McCown’s longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), at several spatial scales during 2011 and 2012. Although no simple direct relationship to patch-burn grazing treatment existed, habitat selection depended on precipitation- and management-induced vegetation conditions and spatial scale. All species selected taller-than-expected vegetation at the nest site, whereas at the territory scale, horned larks and McCown’s longspurs selected areas with low vegetation height and sparse cover of tall plants (taller than the dominant shortgrasses). Buntings nested primarily in unburned grassland under average rainfall. Larks and longspurs shifted activity from patch burns during average precipitation (2011) to unburned pastures during drought (2012). Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests varied with time in season, species, weather, and vegetation structure. Daily survival rate of McCown’s longspur nests did not vary with foliar cover of relatively tall vegetation at the nest under average precipitation but declined with increasing cover during drought. At the 200-m scale, increasing cover of shortgrasses, rather than taller plant species, improved DSR of larks and longspurs. These birds experience tradeoffs in the selection of habitat at different spatial scales: tall structure at nests may reduce visual detection by predators and provide protection from sun, wind, and rain, yet

  9. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

  10. Evaluation of a reproductive index for estimating productivity of grassland breeding birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, M.R.; Norment, C.; Runge, M.C.

    2010-01-01

    Declining populations of grassland breeding birds have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality is breeding success, which is challenging to determine for many cryptic-nesting grassland birds. This difficulty led Vickery et al. (1992) to propose a reproductive index based on behavioral observations rather than nest fate. We rigorously evaluated the index for 2 years using a Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) population in western New York and found a weak correlation in classification of the breeding stages of monitored territories among multiple observers (r = 0.398). We also discovered a large difference between overall territory and nest success rates independently estimated with the index (9.8% over the entire breeding cycle) and with nest searching and monitoring (41.7% of nests successfully fledged young). Most importantly, we made territory-level comparisons of index estimates with actual nest fate and found that the index correctly predicted fates for only 43% of the monitored nests. A Mayfield logistic regression analysis demonstrated that only index rank 4 (eggs hatched, but young failed to fledge) showed a strong positive correlation with nest success. Although the reproductive index may function as a coarse indicator of habitat suitability (e.g., documenting production in potential ecological traps), in our study the index exhibited neither internal consistency nor the ability to predict nest fate at the plot or territory level and functioned poorly as a substitute for nest searching and monitoring. ?? 2010 The American Ornithologists' Union.

  11. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Birds and Bird Habitat: What Are the Risks from Industrial Wind Turbine Exposure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprague, Terry; Harrington, M. Elizabeth; Krogh, Carmen M. E.

    2011-01-01

    Bird kill rate and disruption of habitat has been reported when industrial wind turbines are introduced into migratory bird paths or other environments. While the literature could be more complete regarding the documentation of negative effects on birds and bird habitats during the planning, construction, and operation of wind power projects,…

  13. Determination of Habitat Requirements For Birds in Suburban Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack Ward Thomas; Richard M. DeGraaf; Joseph C. Mawson

    1977-01-01

    Songbird populations can be related to habitat components by a method that allows the simultaneous determination of habitat requirements for a variety of species . Through correlation and multiple-regression analyses, 10 bird species were studied in a suburban habitat, which was stratified according to human density. Variables used to account for bird distribution...

  14. Integrating and interpreting the Habitats- and Birds Directives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kistenkas, F.H.

    2005-01-01

    The Birds Directive of 1979 and the Habitats Directive of 1992 might be seen as the two major EU nature conservation directives, both protecting a habitats network throughout Europe and species. The transposition of both the Habitats and Birds Directive (HBD) into domestic national or subnational

  15. Birds and bird habitats: guidelines for wind power projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-10-01

    Established in 2009, the Green Energy Act aims to increase the use of renewable energy sources including wind, water, solar and bioenergy in Ontario. The development of these resources is a major component of the province's plan, which aims to mitigate the contribution to climate change and to involve the Ontario's economy in the improvement of the quality of the environment. The Green Energy Act also considers as important the implementation of a coordinated provincial approval process, suggesting the integration of all Ministry requirements into a unique process during the evaluation of newly proposed renewable energy projects. The Ministry of the Environment's Renewable Energy Approval Regulation details the requirements for wind power projects involving significant natural features. Birds are an important part of Ontario's biodiversity and, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, their habitats are considered as significant wildlife habitat (SWH). The Renewable Energy Approval Regulation and this guideline are meant to provide elements and guidance in order to protect bird SWH during the selection of a location of wind power facilities. . 27 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.

  16. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haigen Xu

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  17. Abundance of birds in six selected habitats | Ogunsusi | Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Study conducted in the forested bitumen belt of Ode-Irele, Ondo state, Nigeria evaluated habitat use by birds using 20- minutes birds point count to a radius of 30 meters, carried out in six selected habitats. The vegetation cover was sampled using 5x5-meters and 1m2quadrants. Data collected were subjected to t-test of ...

  18. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ; hereafter bobwhite) as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures) during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations ( n = 126) using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE) compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE); at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE) than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE). Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE) and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE) compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE) and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE). Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites and

  19. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations (n = 126 using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE; at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE. Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE. Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites

  20. Habitat-specific population growth of a farmland bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora Arlt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To assess population persistence of species living in heterogeneous landscapes, the effects of habitat on reproduction and survival have to be investigated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a matrix population model to estimate habitat-specific population growth rates for a population of northern wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe breeding in farmland consisting of a mosaic of distinct habitat (land use types. Based on extensive long-term data on reproduction and survival, habitats characterised by tall field layers (spring- and autumn-sown crop fields, ungrazed grasslands displayed negative stochastic population growth rates (log lambda(s: -0.332, -0.429, -0.168, respectively, that were markedly lower than growth rates of habitats characterised by permanently short field layers (pastures grazed by cattle or horses, and farmyards, log lambda(s: -0.056, +0.081, -0.059. Although habitats differed with respect to reproductive performance, differences in habitat-specific population growth were largely due to differences in adult and first-year survival rates, as shown by a life table response experiment (LTRE. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that estimation of survival rates is important for realistic assessments of habitat quality. Results also indicate that grazed grasslands and farmyards may act as source habitats, whereas crop fields and ungrazed grasslands with tall field layers may act as sink habitats. We suggest that the strong decline of northern wheatears in Swedish farmland may be linked to the corresponding observed loss of high quality breeding habitat, i.e. grazed semi-natural grasslands.

  1. Bird assemblage patterns in relation to anthropogenic habitat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Using habitat stratification, birds were surveyed along transects in tidal and supralittoral sub-habitats using DISTANCE sampling protocol, and along the river by encounter rates to determine abundance and species richness. Indices of human activity as well as habitat structure parameters including ground cover, plant ...

  2. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  3. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve

  4. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.

  5. Evaluating anthropogenic risk of grassland and forest habitat degradation using land-cover data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt Riitters; James Wickham; Timothy Wade

    2009-01-01

    The effects of landscape context on habitat quality are receiving increased attention in conservation biology. The objective of this research is to demonstrate a landscape-level approach to mapping and evaluating the anthropogenic risks of grassland and forest habitat degradation by examining habitat context as defined by intensive anthropogenic land uses at multiple...

  6. Patch size and edge proximity are useful predictors of brood parasitism but not nest survival of grassland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Thomas J; Chiavacci, Scott J; Ward, Michael P

    2013-06-01

    Declines of migratory birds have led to increased focus on causative factors for these declines, including the potential adverse effects of habitat fragmentation on reproductive success. Although numerous studies have addressed how proximity to a habitat edge, patch size, or landscape context influence nest survival or brood parasitism, many have failed to find the purported effects. Furthermore, many have sought to generalize patterns across large geographic areas and habitats. Here, we examined evidence for effects of edge proximity, patch size, and landscape context on nest survival and brood parasitism of grassland birds, a group of conservation concern. The only consistent effect was a positive association between edge proximity and brood parasitism. We examined effects of patch size on nest survival (37 studies) and brood parasitism (30 studies) representing 170 and 97 different estimates, respectively, with a total sample size of > 14000 nests spanning eastern North America. Nest survival weakly increased with patch size in the Great Plains, but not in the Midwestern or Eastern United States, and brood parasitism was inversely related to patch size and consistently greater in the Great Plains. The consistency in brood parasitism relative to nest survival patterns is likely due to parasitism being caused by one species, while nest survival is driven by a diverse and variable suite of nest predators. Often, studies assume that predators responsible for nest predation, the main driver of nest success, either are the same or exhibit the same behaviors across large geographic areas. These results suggest that a better mechanistic understanding of nest predation is needed to provide meaningful conservation recommendations for improving grassland bird productivity, and that the use of general recommendations across large geographic areas should only be undertaken when sufficient data are available from all regions.

  7. Condition varies with habitat choice in postbreeding forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott H. Stoleson

    2013-01-01

    Many birds that are experiencing population declines require extensive tracts of mature forest habitat for breeding. Recent work suggests that at least some may shift their habitat use to early-successional areas after nesting but before migration. I used constant-effort mist netting in regenerating clearcuts (4-8 years postcut) and dense mature-forest understories to...

  8. Effects of wind-energy facilities on breeding grassland bird distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A; Buhl, Deborah A

    2016-02-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003-2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2-5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  9. East Africa's diminishing bird habitats and bird species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    foreign exchange earnings for each national exchequer. However, recent national census records have .... Dar-es-. Salaam: Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania. Bennun, L & Njoroge, P. 1999. Important Bird Areas in Kenya, Nairobi: East Africa Natural. History Society. Byaruhanga, A, Kasoma, P. & Pomeroy, D. 2001.

  10. Private lands habitat programs benefit California's native birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan T. DiGaudio

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available To address the loss of wetlands and riparian forests in California, private lands habitat programs are available through U.S. federal and state government agencies to help growers, ranchers and other private landowners create and enhance wildlife habitat. The programs provide financial and technical assistance for implementing conservation practices. To evaluate the benefits of these programs for wildlife, we examined bird use of private wetlands, postharvest flooded croplands and riparian forests enrolled in habitat programs in the Central Valley and North Coast regions of California. We found that private Central Valley wetlands supported 181 bird species during the breeding season. During fall migration, postharvest flooded croplands supported wetland-dependent species and a higher density of shorebirds than did semipermanent wetlands. At the riparian sites, bird species richness increased after restoration. These results demonstrated that the programs provided habitat for the species they were designed to protect; a variety of resident and migratory bird species used the habitats, and many special status species were recorded at the sites.

  11. Evaluating Anthropogenic Risk of Grassland and Forest Habitat Degradation using Land-Cover Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt Riitters

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The effects of landscape context on habitat quality are receiving increased attention in conservation biology. The objective of this research is to demonstrate a landscape-level approach to mapping and evaluating the anthropogenic risks of grassland and forest habitat degradation by examining habitat context as defined by intensive anthropogenic land uses at multiple spatial scales. A landscape mosaic model classifies a given location according to the amounts of intensive agriculture and intensive development in its surrounding landscape, providing measures of anthropogenic risks attributable to habitat isolation and edge effects at that location. The model is implemented using a land-cover map (0.09 ha/pixel of the conterminous United States and six landscape sizes (4.4, 15.2, 65.6, 591, 5300, and 47800 ha to evaluate the spatial scales of anthropogenic risk. Statistics for grassland and forest habitat are extracted by geographic overlays of the maps of land-cover and landscape mosaics. Depending on landscape size, 81 to 94 percent of all grassland and forest habitat occurs in landscapes that are dominated by natural land-cover including habitat itself. Within those natural-dominated landscapes, 50 percent of grassland and 59 percent of forest is within 590 m of intensive agriculture and/or intensive developed land which is typically a minor component of total landscape area. The conclusion is that anthropogenic risk attributable to habitat patch isolation affects a small proportion of the total grassland or forest habitat area, while the majority of habitat area is exposed to edge effects.

  12. Winter habitat occurrence patterns of temperate migrant birds in Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, D.K.; Robbins, C.S.; Sauer, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    We used mist nets and point counts to sample bird populations in 61 sites in Belize during January-March of 1987-1991. Sites were classified as forest, second growth, woody agricultural crops (citrus, mango, cacao, and cashew), or non-woody agricultural crops (rice and sugar cane). We evaluated patterns of occurence of wintering temperate migrant bird species in these habitats. Mist net captures of 22 of 31 migrant species differed significantly among habitats. Of these, 13 species were captured more frequently in the agricultural habitats. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) were among the species captured most frequently in woody agricultural habitats; captures of Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Northern (lcterus galbula) and Orchard orioles (I. spur/anus) were highest in the non-woody agricultural sites. We relate these occurrence patterns to trends in breeding populations in North America. While count data provide a wide picture of winter habitat distribution of migrants, more intensive work is necessary to assess temporal and geographic variation of migrant bird use of agricultural habitats.

  13. Use of Urban Marine Habitats by Foraging Wading Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wading birds that utilize coastal habitats may be at risk from increasing urbanization near their foraging and stopover sites. However, the relative importance of human disturbance in the context of other landscape and biological factors that may be influencing their distributio...

  14. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  15. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  16. Bird-habitat relationships in interior Columbia Basin shrubsteppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, S.L.; Holmes, A.L.

    2012-01-01

    Vegetation structure is considered an important habitat feature structuring avian communities. In the sagebrush biome, both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) cover have proven valuable in understanding avian abundance. Differences in structure between the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native bunchgrasses are also expected to be important. We used avian abundance data from 318 point count stations, coupled with field vegetation measurements and a detailed vegetation map, to model abundance for four shrub- and four grassland-associated avian species in southeastern Washington shrubsteppe. Specifically, we ask whether species distinguish between bunchgrass and cheatgrass, and whether mapped, categorical cover types adequately explain species' abundance or whether fine-grained, field-measured differences in vegetation cover are also important. Results indicate that mapped cover types alone can be useful for predicting patterns of distribution and abundance within the sagebrush biome for several avian species (five of eight studied here). However, field-measured sagebrush cover was a strong positive predictor for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), the only sagebrush obligate in this study, and a strong negative predictor for two grassland associates, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Likewise, shrub associates did not differ in abundance in sagebrush with a cheatgrass vs. bunchgrass understory, but grassland associates were more common in either bunchgrass (Horned Lark and Grasshopper Sparrow) or cheatgrass grasslands (Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus), or tended to use sagebrush-cheatgrass less than sagebrush-bunchgrass (Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis).

  17. Species at risk setback distances : the effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds was discussed in this presentation. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of minimal disturbance gas wells and associated activity on species richness; effects on species abundance; and effects on the occurrence of species. The presentation provided several hypotheses, including that species richness would increase with increasing distance from gas wells and trails; that abundance and occurrence of sensitive species would increase with distance from gas wells and trails; and that abundance and occurrence of brood parasites and predators would decrease with increasing distance from gas wells and trails. The presentation illustrated the study area and study design. Several graphs representing the study results were also presented. Bird species that were examined included the abundance and occurrence of western meadowlark; horned lark; chestnut-collared longspur; clay-coloured sparrow; vesper sparrow; sprague pipit; savannah sparrow; grasshopper sparrow; baird sparrow; and brown-headed cowbird. A summary slide was also presented that concluded that species richness did not vary with distance from gas development and that brown-headed cowbirds tended to favour areas with gas development and interior habitats. tabs., figs

  18. Grassland habitat restoration: lessons learnt from long term monitoring of Swanworth Quarry, UK, 1997–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Maria Smith

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition. We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target vegetation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies there is no “quick fix” for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland, but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

  19. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  20. A GIS-based model of Serengeti grassland bird species | Gottschalk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted on the Serengeti Plains, Tanzania, combining (1) records from a bird survey, (2) local measurements of vegetation structure and precipitation, and (3) a habitat map derived from a Landsat satellite image classification. The question of whether ground-based or satellite data explained more of the ...

  1. Forest fire impact on bird habitat in a mixed oak-pine forest in Puebla, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura P. Ponce-Calderón Ponce-Calderón; Dante A. Rodríguez-Trejo; Beatriz C. Aguilar-Váldez; Elvia. López-Pérez

    2013-01-01

    To assess the impact of different-severity wildfires on bird habitat, habitat quality was determined by analyzing the degree of richness association, abundance and diversity of bird species and vegetation structure (richness, abundance, diversity and coverage). These attributes were quantified with four sampling sites for birds and five for quadrant-centered points...

  2. Demographic response of a shrubland bird to habitat creation, succession, and disturbance in a dynamic landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; Robert T. Brooks

    2015-01-01

    Shrubland birds have experienced widespread declines in the eastern United States. Habitat for shrubland birds is typically dynamic, in which available habitat changes temporally and spatially in response to disturbance and succession. Despite widespread concerns among conservationists about shrubland birds, much is still poorly understood regarding fundamental...

  3. Winter Responses of Forest Birds to Habitat Corridors and Gaps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen Cassady St. Clair

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and habitat loss may disrupt the movement or dispersal of forest-dwelling birds. Despite much interest in the severity of these effects and ways of mitigating them, little is known about actual movement patterns in different habitat types. We studied the movement of wintering resident birds, lured by playbacks of mobbing calls, to compare the willingness of forest birds to travel various distances in continuous forest, along narrow corridors (fencerows, and across gaps in forest cover. We also quantified the willingness of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus to cross gaps when alternative forested detour routes were available. All species were less likely to respond to the calls as distance increased to 200 m, although White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis and Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus were generally less likely to respond than chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers (P. pubescens. Chickadees were as likely to travel in corridors as in continuous forest, but were less likely to cross gaps as the gap distance increased. The other species were less willing to travel in corridors and gaps relative to forest, and the differences among habitats also increased with distance. For chickadees, gap-crossing decisions in the presence of forested detours varied over the range of distances that we tested, and were primarily influenced by detour efficiency (the length of the shortcut relative to the available detour. Over short distances, birds used forested detours, regardless of their efficiency. As absolute distances increased, birds tended to employ larger shortcuts in the open when detour efficiency was low or initial distance in the open was high, but they limited their distance from the nearest forest edge to 25 m. Thus, chickadees were unwilling to cross gaps of > 50 m when they had forested alternatives, yet they sometimes crossed gaps as large as 200 m when no such choice existed. Our results suggest that

  4. Influence of olfactory and visual cover on nest site selection and nest success for grassland-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Dillon T; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Loss, Scott R

    2017-08-01

    Habitat selection by animals is influenced by and mitigates the effects of predation and environmental extremes. For birds, nest site selection is crucial to offspring production because nests are exposed to extreme weather and predation pressure. Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest predator communities; therefore, factors that influence olfactory detection (e.g., airflow and weather variables, including turbulence and moisture) should influence nest site selection and survival. However, few studies have assessed the importance of olfactory cover for habitat selection and survival. We assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. Additionally, we assessed the importance of visual cover and airflow and weather variables associated with olfactory cover in influencing nest survival. In managed grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, we monitored nests of Northern Bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ), Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna ), and Grasshopper Sparrow ( Ammodramus savannarum ) during 2015 and 2016. To assess nest site selection, we compared cover variables between nests and random points. To assess factors influencing nest survival, we used visual cover and olfactory-related measurements (i.e., airflow and weather variables) to model daily nest survival. For nest site selection, nest sites had greater overhead visual cover than random points, but no other significant differences were found. Weather variables hypothesized to influence olfactory detection, specifically precipitation and relative humidity, were the best predictors of and were positively related to daily nest survival. Selection for overhead cover likely contributed to mitigation of thermal extremes and possibly reduced detectability of nests. For daily nest survival, we hypothesize that major nest predators focused on prey other than the monitored species' nests during high moisture conditions, thus increasing nest survival on these

  5. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  6. Varying Land-Use Has an Influence on Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes’ Abundance and Distribution in Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area, Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakarayi, Togarasei; Mashapa, Clayton; Gandiwa, Edson; Kativu, Shakkie

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cranes are distributed widely throughout southern Africa, but little is known about how they respond to the changes in land-use that have occurred in this region. This study assessed habitat preference of the two crane species across land-use categories of the self contained small scale commercial farms of 30 to 40 ha per household (A1), large scale commercial agriculture farms of > 50 ha per household (A2) and Old Resettlement, farms of crane species abundance. Crane bird counts and data on influencing environmental variables were collected between June and August 2012. Our results show that varying land-use categories had an influence on the abundance and distribution of the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Belearica regulorum) across Driefontein Grasslands IBA. The Wattled Crane was widely distributed in the relatively undisturbed A2 farms while the Grey Crowned Crane was associated with the more disturbed land of A1 farms, Old Resettlement and its communal grazing land. Cyperus esculentus and percent (%) bare ground were strong environmental variables best explaining the observed patterns in Wattled Crane abundance across land-use categories. The pattern in Grey Crowned Crane abundance was best explained by soil penetrability, moisture and grass height variables. A holistic sustainable land-use management that takes into account conservation of essential habitats in Driefontein Grasslands IBA is desirable for crane populations and other wetland dependent species that include water birds. PMID:27875552

  7. Varying Land-Use Has an Influence on Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes' Abundance and Distribution in Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area, Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakarayi, Togarasei; Mashapa, Clayton; Gandiwa, Edson; Kativu, Shakkie

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cranes are distributed widely throughout southern Africa, but little is known about how they respond to the changes in land-use that have occurred in this region. This study assessed habitat preference of the two crane species across land-use categories of the self contained small scale commercial farms of 30 to 40 ha per household (A1), large scale commercial agriculture farms of > 50 ha per household (A2) and Old Resettlement, farms of crane species abundance. Crane bird counts and data on influencing environmental variables were collected between June and August 2012. Our results show that varying land-use categories had an influence on the abundance and distribution of the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Belearica regulorum) across Driefontein Grasslands IBA. The Wattled Crane was widely distributed in the relatively undisturbed A2 farms while the Grey Crowned Crane was associated with the more disturbed land of A1 farms, Old Resettlement and its communal grazing land. Cyperus esculentus and percent (%) bare ground were strong environmental variables best explaining the observed patterns in Wattled Crane abundance across land-use categories. The pattern in Grey Crowned Crane abundance was best explained by soil penetrability, moisture and grass height variables. A holistic sustainable land-use management that takes into account conservation of essential habitats in Driefontein Grasslands IBA is desirable for crane populations and other wetland dependent species that include water birds.

  8. Looking above the prairie: localized and upward acute vision in a native grassland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrrell, Luke P; Moore, Bret A; Loftis, Christopher; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2013-12-02

    Visual systems of open habitat vertebrates are predicted to have a band of acute vision across the retina (visual streak) and wide visual coverage to gather information along the horizon. We tested whether the eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) had this visual configuration given that it inhabits open grasslands. Contrary to our expectations, the meadowlark retina has a localized spot of acute vision (fovea) and relatively narrow visual coverage. The fovea projects above rather than towards the horizon with the head at rest, and individuals modify their body posture in tall grass to maintain a similar foveal projection. Meadowlarks have relatively large binocular fields and can see their bill tips, which may help with their probe-foraging technique. Overall, meadowlark vision does not fit the profile of vertebrates living in open habitats. The binocular field may control foraging while the fovea may be used for detecting and tracking aerial stimuli (predators, conspecifics).

  9. Habitat selection by female northern pintails wintering in the Grassland Ecological Area, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleskes, Joseph P.; Gilmer, David S.; Jarvis, Robert L.

    2004-01-01

    To determine relative importance of habitats available in the Grassland Ecological Area (GEA) to wintering female northern pintails, Anas acuta, we studied habitat use relative to availability (i.e., habitat selection) in the GEA during September through March, 1991-94 for 196 Hatch-Year (HY) and 221 After-Hatch-Year (AHY) female pintails that were radio tagged during August-early October in the GEA (n = 239), other San Joaquin Valley areas (n = 132), or other Central Valley areas (n = 46). Habitat availability and use varied among seasons and years, but pintails always selected shallow and, except on hunting days, open habitats. Swamp timothy, Heleochloa schoenoides, marsh was the most available, used, and selected habitat. Watergrass, Echinochloa crusgalli, marsh in the GEA was used less than available at night in contrast to previous studies in other SJV areas. Preferred late-winter habitats were apparently lacking in the GEA, at least relative to in the Sacramento Valley and Delta where most pintails moved to in December each year. Impacts on pintails of the increasing practice of managing marshes for increased emergent vegetation to attract other species should be monitored. Shallow, open habitats that produce seeds and invertebrates available to pintails in late winter would help maintain pintail abundance in the GEA.

  10. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Lisa A.; Ribic, Christine; Pomara, Lars Y.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    ContextTemperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However, there have been few studies examining the effect of weather on grassland bird demography and consequent influence of climate change on population persistence and distributional shifts.ObjectivesThe goal of this study was to estimate the vulnerability of Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland bird that has been declining throughout much of its range, to past and future climatic variability.MethodsWe conducted a demographic meta-analysis from published studies and quantified the relationship between nest success rates and variability in breeding season climate. We projected the climate-demography relationships spatially, throughout the breeding range, and temporally, from 1981 to 2050. These projections were used to evaluate population dynamics by implementing a spatially explicit population model.ResultsWe uncovered a climate-demography linkage for Henslow’s Sparrow with summer precipitation, and to a lesser degree, temperature positively affecting nest success. We found that future climatic conditions—primarily changes in precipitation—will likely contribute to reduced population persistence and a southwestward range contraction.ConclusionsFuture distributional shifts in response to climate change may not always be poleward and assessing projected changes in precipitation is critical for grassland bird conservation and climate change adaptation.

  11. Birds and burns of the interior West: descriptions, habitats, and management in western forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria Saab; William Block; Robin Russell; John Lehmkuhl; Lisa Bate; Rachel White

    2007-01-01

    This publication provides information about prescribed fire effects on habitats and populations of birds of the interior West and a synthesis of existing information on bird responses to fire across North America. Our literature synthesis indicated that aerial, ground, and bark insectivores favored recently burned habitats, whereas foliage gleaners preferred unburned...

  12. Nest-site habitat of cavity-nesting birds at the San Joaquin Experimental Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared. Verner

    2008-01-01

    Detailed information about the nesting habitats of birds, including those needed for successful nesting, can provide a better understanding of the ecological factors that permit coexistence of different species and may aid in conservation efforts. From 1989 through 1994, we studied the nesting habitat of secondary cavity-nesting birds in oak woodlands at the San...

  13. Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake, A Guide to Identification, Communities, & Bird Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...

  14. Pesticide acute toxicity is a better correlate of U.S. grassland bird declines than agricultural intensification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Mineau

    Full Text Available Common agricultural birds are in decline, both in Europe and in North America. Evidence from Europe suggests that agricultural intensification and, for some species, the indirect effects of pesticides mediated through a loss of insect food resource is in part responsible. On a state-by-state basis for the conterminous Unites States (U.S., we looked at several agronomic variables to predict the number of grassland species increasing or declining according to breeding bird surveys conducted between 1980 and 2003. Best predictors of species declines were the lethal risk from insecticide use modeled from pesticide impact studies, followed by the loss of cropped pasture. Loss of permanent pasture or simple measures of agricultural intensification such as the proportion of land under crop or the proportion of farmland treated with herbicides did not explain bird declines as well. Because the proportion of farmland treated with insecticides, and more particularly the lethal risk to birds from the use of current insecticides feature so prominently in the best models, this suggests that, in the U.S. at least, pesticide toxicity to birds should be considered as an important factor in grassland bird declines.

  15. Urban and rural habitats differ in number and type of bird feeders and in bird species consuming supplementary food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Skórka, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz

    2015-10-01

    Bird feeding is one of the most widespread direct interactions between man and nature, and this has important social and environmental consequences. However, this activity can differ between rural and urban habitats, due to inter alia habitat structure, human behaviour and the composition of wintering bird communities. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km(2) each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 towns and cities across Poland (in each urban area, we surveyed 3 squares and also 3 squares in nearby rural areas). At each count, we noted the number of bird feeders, the number of bird feeders with food, the type of feeders, additional food supplies potentially available for birds (bread offered by people, bins) and finally the birds themselves. In winter, urban and rural areas differ in the availability of food offered intentionally and unintentionally to birds by humans. Both types of food availability are higher in urban areas. Our findings suggest that different types of bird feeder support only those species specialized for that particular food type and this relationship is similar in urban and rural areas.

  16. Susceptibility and antibody response of Vesper Sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) to West Nile virus: A potential amplification host in sagebrush-grassland habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Fassbinder-Orth, Carol; Owen, Benjamin; Franson, J. Christian

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) spread to the US western plains states in 2003, when a significant mortality event attributed to WNV occurred in Greater Sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ). The role of avian species inhabiting sagebrush in the amplification of WNV in arid and semiarid regions of the North America is unknown. We conducted an experimental WNV challenge study in Vesper Sparrows ( Pooecetes gramineus ), a species common to sagebrush and grassland habitats found throughout much of North America. We found Vesper Sparrows to be moderately susceptible to WNV, developing viremia considered sufficient to transmit WNV to feeding mosquitoes, but the majority of birds were capable of surviving infection and developing a humoral immune response to the WNV nonstructural 1 and envelope proteins. Despite clearance of viremia, after 6 mo, WNV was detected molecularly in three birds and cultured from one bird. Surviving Vesper Sparrows were resistant to reinfection 6 mo after the initial challenge. Vesper sparrows could play a role in the amplification of WNV in sagebrush habitat and other areas of their range, but rapid clearance of WNV may limit their importance as competent amplification hosts of WNV.

  17. Scrub-shrub bird habitat associations at multiple spatial scales in beaver meadows in Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.

    2009-01-01

    Most scrub-shrub bird species are declining in the northeastern United States, and these declines are largely attributed to regional declines in habitat availability. American Beaver (Castor canadensis; hereafter “beaver”) populations have been increasing in the Northeast in recent decades, and beavers create scrub-shrub habitat through their dam-building and foraging activities. Few systematic studies have been conducted on the value of beaver-modified habitats for scrub-shrub birds, and these data are important for understanding habitat selection of scrub-shrub birds as well as for assessing regional habitat availability for these species. We conducted surveys in 37 beaver meadows in a 2,800-km2 study area in western Massachusetts during 2005 and 2006 to determine the extent to which these beaver-modified habitats are used by scrub-shrub birds, as well as the characteristics of beaver meadows most closely related to bird use. We modeled bird abundance in relation to microhabitat-, patch-, and landscape-context variables while adjusting for survey-specific covariates affecting detectability using N-mixture models. We found that scrub-shrub birds of regional conservation concern occupied these sites and that birds responded differently to microhabitat, patch, and landscape characteristics of beaver meadows. Generally, scrub-shrub birds increased in abundance along a gradient of increasing vegetation complexity, and three species were positively related to patch size. We conclude that these habitats can potentially play an important role in regional conservation of scrub-shrub birds and recommend that conservation priority be given to larger beaver meadows with diverse vegetation structure and composition.

  18. NODC Standard Format Marine Birds from Coastal Alaska and Puget Sound Data (1975-1978): Marine Bird Habitats (F040) (NODC Accession 0014159)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Marine Bird Habitats (F040) is one of a group of seven datasets related to Marine Birds from Coastal Alaska and Puget Sound Data (1975 -1978). Each dataset uses the...

  19. Occurrence, abundance, and habitat use of birds along the northcentral Alaska peninsula, 1976-1980

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Between spring 1976 and fall 1980 we studied the occurrence, abundance, and habitat use of birds over a 2000 km² segment of the northcentral Alaska Peninsula. During...

  20. Species, functional groups, and habitat preferences of birds in five agroforestry classes in Tabasco, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der J.C.; Peña-Álvarez, B.; Arriaga-Weiss, S.L.; Hernández-Daumás, S.

    2012-01-01

    We studied species, functional groups, and habitat preferences of birds in five classes of agroforestry systems: agroforests, animal agroforestry, linear agroforestry, sequential agroforestry, and crops under tree cover in Tabasco, Mexico. Sampling sites were >2 km from natural forest fragments.

  1. Birds of a Great Basin Sagebrush Habitat in East-Central Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Breeding bird populations ranged from 3.35 to 3.48 individuals/ha over a 3-year study conducted from 1981 to 1983. Brewer's sparrows, sage sparrows, sage thrashers, and black-throated sparrows were numerically dominant. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common. Results are compared with bird populations in Great Basin sagebrush habitats elsewhere in the United States.

  2. Do birds select habitat or food resources? Nearctic-neotropic migrants in northeastern Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jared D. Wolfe; Matthew D. Johnson; C. John Ralph; R. Mark Brigham

    2014-01-01

    Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover...

  3. Woodland and grassland mosaic from a butterfly perspective: habitat use by Erebia aethiops (Lepidoptera: Satyridae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Slámová, Irena; Klečka, Jan; Konvička, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 3 (2013), s. 243-254 ISSN 1752-458X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/2248; GA ČR GD206/08/H044; GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 144/2010/P; GA JU(CZ) 145/2010/P; GA JU(CZ) 106/2010/P; GA JU(CZ) 135/2010/P; GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/10/1630 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : conservation * grassland * habitat loss Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.937, year: 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1752-4598.2012.00212.x/pdf

  4. A global analysis of bird plumage patterns reveals no association between habitat and camouflage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Somveille

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types—mottled (irregular, scales, bars and spots (regular—and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species’ geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world’s birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world’s eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.

  5. A global analysis of bird plumage patterns reveals no association between habitat and camouflage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somveille, Marius; Marshall, Kate L A; Gluckman, Thanh-Lan

    2016-01-01

    Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs) function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types-mottled (irregular), scales, bars and spots (regular)-and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species' geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world's birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world's eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.

  6. Lower foraging efficiency of offspring constrains use of optimal habitat in birds with extended parental care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolet, B.A.; Gyimesi, A.; van Lith, B.

    2014-01-01

    Keywords: food intake rate; giving-up density; habitat switch; parental costs; social dominance After reproducing successfully, birds with extended parental care form family groups. Despite being the dominant social unit, such family groups have been reported to switch to alternative habitat earlier

  7. Tamarix as habitat for birds: Implications for riparian restoration in the Southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogge, M.K.; Sferra, S.J.; Paxton, E.H.

    2008-01-01

    Exotic vegetation has become a major habitat component in many ecosystems around the world, sometimes dramatically changing the vegetation community structure and composition. In the southwestern United States, riparian ecosystems are undergoing major changes in part due to the establishment and spread of the exotic Tamarix (saltcedar, tamarisk). There are concerns about the suitability of Tamarix as habitat for birds. Although Tamarix habitats tend to support fewer species and individuals than native habitats, Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas data and Birds of North America accounts show that 49 species use Tamarix as breeding habitat. Importantly, the relative use of Tamarix and its quality as habitat vary substantially by geographic location and bird species. Few studies have examined how breeding in Tamarix actually affects bird survivorship and productivity; recent research on Southwestern Willow Flycatchers has found no negative effects from breeding in Tamarix habitats. Therefore, the ecological benefits and costs of Tamarix control are difficult to predict and are likely to be species specific and site specific. Given the likelihood that high-quality native riparian vegetation will not develop at all Tamarix control sites, restoration projects that remove Tamarix but do not assure replacement by high-quality native habitat have the potential to reduce the net riparian habitat value for some local or regional bird populations. Therefore, an assessment of potential negative impacts is important in deciding if exotic control should be conducted. In addition, measurable project objectives, appropriate control and restoration techniques, and robust monitoring are all critical to effective restoration planning and execution. ?? 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  8. Nesting tree characteristics of heronry birds of urban ecosystems in peninsular India: implications for habitat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roshnath, Ramesh; Sinu, Palatty Allesh

    2017-12-01

    Wetland ecosystems, particularly the mangrove forest, are the primary wild habitat of heronry birds. However, urban ecosystems have become a favorite breeding habitat of these birds. To provide inputs into the habitat management for conservation of these birds, we investigated the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of nesting trees of heronry birds in the urban environment of the North Kerala region of peninsular India. Census on nesting trees was done in 3 major microhabitats of the urban ecosystem: avenues of national highways and towns, nonresidential plots, and residential areas apart from the mangrove islets in the peri-urban locality. The study found that 174 trees of 22 species hosted 1,928 heronry bird nests in the urban habitats; mangrove forests, although plentiful in the study area, hosted only about 20% of the total nests encountered in the study. Rain trees Samanea saman (43.7%) were the most available nesting tree. The greatest number of nests and nesting trees were encountered on the roads of urban areas, followed by nonresidential areas and residential areas. The differences in the observed frequencies of nesting trees in 3 microhabitats and in 3 types of roads (national highways > state highways > small pocket road) were significant. Canopy spread, girth size, and quality of the trees predicted the tree selection of the heronry birds in urban environments. Therefore, we recommend proper management and notification of the identified nesting trees as protected sites for the conservation of herorny birds.

  9. Effect of Group-Selection Opening Size on Breeding Bird Habitat Use in a Bottomland Forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moorman, C.E.; D.C. Guynn, Jr.

    2001-12-01

    Research on the effects of creating group-selection openings of various sizes on breeding birds habitat use in a bottomland hardwood forest of the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Creation of 0.5-ha group selection openings in southern bottomland forests should provide breeding habitat for some field-edge species in gaps and habitat for forest-interior species and canopy-dwelling forest-edge species between gaps provided that enough mature forest is made available.

  10. Data Mining Approaches for Habitats and Stopovers Discovery of Migratory Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Xu

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on using data mining technology to efficiently and accurately discover habitats and stopovers of migratory birds. The three methods we used are as follows: 1. a density-based clustering method, detecting stopovers of birds during their migration through density-based clustering of location points; 2. A location histories parser method, detecting areas that have been overstayed by migratory birds during a set time period by setting time and distance thresholds; and 3. A time-parameterized line segment clustering method, clustering directed line segments to analyze shared segments of migratory pathways of different migratory birds and discover the habitats and stopovers of these birds. Finally, we analyzed the migration data of the bar-headed goose in the Qinghai Lake Area through the three above methods and verified the effectiveness of the three methods and, by comparison, identified the scope and context of the use of these three methods respectively.

  11. Habitat use and seasonal activity of insectivorous bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera in the grasslands of southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marília A. S. Barros

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In temperate zones, insectivorous bats use some types of habitat more frequently than others, and are more active in the warmest periods of the year. We assessed the spatial and seasonal activity patterns of bats in open areas of the southernmost region of Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that bat activity differs among habitat types, among seasons, and is influenced by weather variables. We monitored four 1,500-m transects monthly, from April 2009 to March 2010. Transects corresponded to the five habitat types that predominate in the region. In each sampling session, we detected and counted bat passes with an ultrasound detector (Pettersson D230 and measured climatic variables at the transects. We recorded 1,183 bat passes, and observed the highest activity at the edge of a eucalyptus stand (0.64 bat passes/min and along an irrigation channel (0.54 bat passes/min. The second highest activity values (0.31 and 0.20 bat passes/min, respectively were obtained at the edge of a riparian forest and at the margin of a wetland. The grasslands were used significantly less (0.05 bat passes/min. Bat activity was significantly lower in the winter (0.21 bat passes/min and showed similar values in the autumn (0.33 bat passes/min, spring (0.26 bat passes/min, and summer (0.29 bat passes/min. Bat activity was correlated with temperature, but it was not correlated with wind speed and relative humidity of the air. Our data suggest that, in the study area, insectivorous bats are active throughout the year, and use mostly forest and watercourses areas. These habitat types should be considered prioritary for the conservation of bats in the southernmost region of Brazil.

  12. Conserving the grassland Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of southern South America: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian S. Di Giacomo; Santiago Krapovickas

    2005-01-01

    In the southern part of South America, knowledge about bird species distribution is still not used as a tool for land use planning and conservation priority-setting. BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is an appropriate vehicle for analyzing existing information about birds, and to generate new data where necessary. IBA inventories...

  13. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS).

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gauthreaux, Sidney, A.; Steven J. Wagner.

    2005-06-29

    Gauthreaux, Sidney, A., and Steven J. Wagner. 2005. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS). Final Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 48 pp. Abstract: During the 1970's and 1980's a dramatic decline occurred in the populations of Neotropical migratory birds, species that breed in North America and winter south of the border in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In 1991 an international initiative was mounted by U. S. governmental land management agencies, nongovernmental conservation agencies, and the academic and lay ornithological communities to understand the decline of Neotropical migratory birds in the Americas. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service - Savannah River (FS - SR) we began 1992 a project directed to monitoring population densities of breeding birds using the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) methodology in selected habitats within the Savannah River Site SRS. In addition we related point count data on the occurrence of breeding Neotropical migrants and other bird species to the habitat data gathered by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service and data on habitat treatments within forest stands.

  14. Bird communities of the arctic shrub tundra of Yamal: habitat specialists and generalists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliy Sokolov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.

  15. Role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in Enriching the Depauperate Bird Community in “Cogon” Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel Dominated Grassland in Swidden Vegetation Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to understand the role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in enhancing the avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel dominated grassland patches and to realize the influence of adjacent vegetations on the assemblage of birds that feed on the fruit of this tree. An avifaunal survey was conducted on “Cogon” dominated grassland patches adjacent to selected vegetations such as primary forest, secondary forest and upland agricultural area. A total of 250 birds belonging to 19 species representing ten families were found feeding on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla. The site adjacent to secondary forest has the highest species richness, abundance and diversity index values. This accentuates the combined influence of the open and forest dwelling bird species thriving in the secondary forest. The sites adjacent to the primary forest and to the agricultural area have the same species richness but differ in species composition as reflected by the low similarity index. More forest dwelling bird species were recorded near the forest while more open dwelling bird species were recorded near the agricultural area. This highlights the spillover effect of the adjacent vegetations on the feeding bird assemblage. The presence of several endemic and conservation priority bird species that feed on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla unfolds its important role in avifaunal conservation. Finally, the wide collection of fruit eating bird species attracted to it emphasized its importance in improving the overall avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica dominated grassland patches within the swidden vegetation matrix.

  16. Temporal and Spatial Scales Matter: Circannual Habitat Selection by Bird Communities in Vineyards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Guyot

    Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of

  17. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Lampinen

    Full Text Available Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas.

  18. Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, James D.; Buler, Jeffrey J.; Schreckengost, Tim; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.; Boone, Matthew; van Loon, E. Emiel; Dawson, Deanna K.; Walters, Eric L.

    2018-01-01

    With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures, but might also influence selection of migratory stopover habitat and thereby acquisition of food resources. We demonstrate, using multi-year weather radar measurements of nocturnal migrants across the northeastern U.S., that autumnal migrant stopover density increased at regional scales with proximity to the brightest areas, but decreased within a few kilometers of brightly-lit sources. This finding implies broad-scale attraction to artificial light while airborne, impeding selection for extensive forest habitat. Given that high-quality stopover habitat is critical to successful migration, and hindrances during migration can decrease fitness, artificial lights present a potentially heightened conservation concern for migratory bird populations.

  19. Adaptive breeding habitat selection: Is it for the birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information

  20. Heterogeneity of bird communities in a mosaic of habitats on a restinga ecosystem in southeast Brazil

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    Verônica S. da M. Gomes

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Restinga occurs as a narrow band of coastal habitats throughout the Atlantic Forest, although it presents considerable variation in vegetation structure, which likely contributes to heterogeneity in species inhabiting this endangered ecosystem. The goal of this study is to examine how variation in vegetation and abiotic conditions in the restinga ecosystem may contribute to heterogeneity of bird communities in Restinga de Jurubatiba, Brazil. Temperature, relative humidity, and vegetation structure were sampled to characterize four sites (dry forest, flooded forest, open scrub and closed scrub. Birds were sampled using observations, mist-netting and voice recordings. Results indicate that major differences of all variables occur between forest and scrub in both vegetation and birds. In addition, differences also exist within forests and within scrub, resulting in considerable heterogeneity among sampled areas. Scrub sites were richer in bird species (n = 58 than forest sites (n = 41, while closed scrub had the most species (n = 49. Also, 64% (47 of 73 of bird species were exclusive to forest or scrub habitats. Scrub habitats were more similar to each other than forest habitats. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI calculated from satellite images distinguished scrub sites and may be useful to monitor changes in vegetation patches through time. The restinga ecosystem is quite heterogeneous with considerable turnover in bird species composition and differences in vegetation structure. Forest strips may serve as connectors on the landscape and to help maintain species diversity and conservation of forest species. Also, this highly dynamic ecosystem, which includes a mosaic of habitat types, likely promotes resilience of bird populations under changing conditions.

  1. Dynamics of habitat selection in birds: adaptive response to nest predation depends on multiple factors.

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    Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M

    2018-05-01

    According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.

  2. The potential of fruit trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico

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    Foster, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    Migration routes used by Nearctic migrant birds can cover great distances; they also differ among species, within species, and between years and seasons. As a result, migration routes for an entire migratory avifauna can encompass broad geographic areas, making it impossible to protect continuous stretches of habitat sufficient to connect the wintering and breeding grounds for most species. Consequently, ways to enhance habitats converted for human use (i.e. for pasture, crop cultivation, human settlement) as stopover sites for migrants are especially important. Shelterbelts around pastures and fields, if planted with species targeted to support migrant (and resident) bird species that naturally occupy mature forest habitats and that are at least partially frugivorous, could be a powerful enhancement tool for such species, if the birds will enter the converted areas to feed. I tested this approach for Nearctic migrant birds during the spring migration through an area in Chiapas, Mexico. Mature forest tree species whose fruits are eaten by birds were surveyed. Based on life form, crop size and fruit characteristics, I selected three tree species for study: Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae), Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) and Trophis racemosa (Moraceae). I compared the use of fruits of these species by migrants and residents in forest with their use of the fruits of isolated individuals of the same species in pasture and cropland. All three plant species were useful for enhancing converted habitats for forest-occupying spring migrants, although species differed in the degree to which they entered disturbed areas to feed on the fruits. These tree species could probably enhance habitats for migrants at sites throughout the natural geographic ranges of the plants; in other geographic areas for other target bird groups, other tree species might be more appropriate.

  3. Effects of Width, Edge and Habitat on the Abundance and Nesting Success of Scrub-shrub Birds in Powerline Corridors

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    David I. King; Richard B. Chandler; Jeffrey M. Collins; Wayne R. Petersen; Thomas E. Lautzenheiser

    2009-01-01

    Concern about declines in scrub–shrub bird populations has resulted in efforts to create and maintain habitat for these species. Vegetation within powerline corridors is managed to prevent contact of vegetation with transmission lines, and comprises approximately 2% of all of habitat for scrub–shrub birds in southern New England. Although previous studies have...

  4. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

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    Susannah B. Lerman; Keith H. Nislow; David J. Nowak; Stephen DeStefano; David I. King; D. Todd. Jones-Farrand

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat...

  5. Food abundance does not determine bird use of early-successional habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tracey B. Champlin; John C. Kilgo; Christopher E. Moorman

    2009-01-01

    Few attempts have been made to experimentally address the extent to which temporal or spatial variation in food availability influences avian habitat use. We used an experimental approach to investigate whether bird use differed between treated (arthropods reduced through insecticide application) and control (untreated) forest canopy gaps within a bottomland hardwood...

  6. A broad scale analysis of tree risk, mitigation and potential habitat for cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Kane; Paige S. Warren; Susannah B. Lerman

    2015-01-01

    Trees in towns and cities provide habitat for wildlife. In particular, cavity-nesting birds nest in the deadand decayed stems and branches of these trees. The same dead and decayed stems and branches alsohave a greater likelihood of failure, which, in some circumstances, increases risk. We examined 1760trees in Baltimore, MD, USA and western MA, USA, assessing tree...

  7. Habitat suitability models for cavity-nesting birds in a postfire landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2007-01-01

    Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...

  8. Bird Habitat Conservation at Various Scales in the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew Milliken; Craig Watson; Chuck Hayes

    2005-01-01

    The Atlantic Coast Joint Venture is a partnership focused on the conservation of habitats for migratory birds within the Atlantic Flyway/Atlantic Coast Region from Maine south to Puerto Rico. In order to be effective in planning and implementing conservation in this large and diverse area, the joint venture must work at multiple spatial scales, from the largest ?...

  9. Bird diversity in six habitat types of PT Inhutani I Labanan, East Kalimantan

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    GUNAWAN

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Birds can be used indirectly or directly as a bioindicator of environment. Birds species living in six habitat types of PT Inhutani I Labanan Kalimantan Timur (namely, logged-over areas that has been exploited in 1976/1981 and 1981/1986, forested area that is being exploited in 1999/2000, primary forest that will be exploited in 2001/2002, Labanan Jaya Village inhabited in 1982/1983, and Segah-Malinau Transmigration Settlement inhabited in 1997/1998 were recorded with transect method (long of 3 km and within sighting distance of 25-50 m at 06.30-10.00 and 15.00-17.30 in both dry and rainy seasons. One hundred and two identified species belonging to 34 families and 6 unidentified species were found. Habitat types and seasons affect bird diversity (the number of species and abundance. Percent dissimilarity of birds between habitats ranged 0,53-0,95 in rainy season and 0,54-0,95 in dry season and between seasons ranged 0,50-0,80. Quantitative values have to be completed with qualitative consideration to assess habitat condition or changes.

  10. EU protected area network did not prevent a country wide population decline in a threatened grassland bird

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    João P. Silva

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax. Methods We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003–2006 and 2016 in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Results Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10–14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline compared to losses within SPA (25% decline. However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . Discussion In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.

  11. EU protected area network did not prevent a country wide population decline in a threatened grassland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, João P; Correia, Ricardo; Alonso, Hany; Martins, Ricardo C; D'Amico, Marcello; Delgado, Ana; Sampaio, Hugo; Godinho, Carlos; Moreira, Francisco

    2018-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas) in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax . We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003-2006 and 2016) in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA) that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10-14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline) compared to losses within SPA (25% decline). However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.

  12. Local habitat and landscape influence predation of bird nests on afforested Mediterranean cropland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Oliver, J. S.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; Carrascal, L. M.

    2014-07-01

    Afforestation programs such as the one promoted by the EU Common Agrarian Policy have contributed to spread tree plantations on former cropland. Nevertheless these afforestations may cause severe damage to open habitat species, especially birds of high conservation value. We investigated predation of artificial bird nests at young tree plantations and at the open farmland habitat adjacent to the tree plantations in central Spain. Predation rates were very high at both tree plantations (95.6%) and open farmland habitat (94.2%) after two and three week exposure. Plantation edge/area ratio and development of the tree canopy decreased predation rates and plantation area and magpie (Pica pica) abundance increased predation rates within tree plantations, which were also affected by land use types around plantations. The area of nearby tree plantations (positive effect), distance to the tree plantation edge (negative effect), and habitat type (mainly attributable to the location of nests in vineyards) explained predation rates at open farmland habitat. We conclude that predation rates on artificial nests were particularly high and rapid at or nearby large plantations, with high numbers of magpies and low tree development, and located in homogenous landscapes dominated by herbaceous crops and pastures with no remnants of semi-natural woody vegetation. Landscape planning should not favour tree plantations as the ones studied here in Mediterranean agricultural areas that are highly valuable for ground-nesting bird species.

  13. Habitat selection of endemic birds in temperate forests in a biodiversity "Hotspot"

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    Roberto A. Moreno-García

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: Our objective was to find habitat associations at a microhabitat level for two endemic birds in a Chilean temperate forest (biodiversity “hotspots”, in order to integrate biodiversity into forest planning.Area of study: Nahuelbuta Range, Chile.Material and methods: The two birds studied were Scelorchilus rubecula (Chucao Tapaculo and Scytalopus magellanicus (Magellanic Tapaculo, both belonging to the Rhinocryptidae family. Presence or absence of the two species was sampled in 57 census spots. Habitat was categorized according to presence/absence results. We assessed the influence of abiotic variables (altitude, exposure, slope and vegetation structure (percentage of understory cover, number of strata using a statistical cluster analysis.Main results: The two bird species selected the habitat. Most frequent presence was detected at a range of 600-1100 masl, but Magellanic Tapaculo was associated to more protected sites in terms of vegetation structure (50-75% for understory cover and 2-3 strata. Slope was the most relevant abiotic variable in habitat selection due to its linkage to vegetation traits in this area.Research highlights: Our results can help managers to integrate biodiversity (endemic fauna species into forest planning by preserving certain traits of the vegetation as part of a habitat (at a microhabitat level selected by the fauna species. That planning should be implemented with both an adequate wood harvesting cuts system and specific silvicultural treatments.Key words: Chile; Nahuelbuta; rhinocryptidae; cluster analysis; rorest planning; vegetation structure.

  14. Food abundance does not determine bird use of early-successional habitat.

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    Champlin, Tracey B.; Kilgo, John C.; Moorman, Christopher E.

    2009-06-01

    Abstract. Few attempts have been made to experimentally address the extent to which temporal or spatial variation in food availability influences avian habitat use. We used an experimental approach to investigate whether bird use differed between treated (arthropods reduced through insecticide application) and control (untreated) forest canopy gaps within a bottomland hardwood forest in the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina, USA. Gaps were two- to three-year-old group selection timber harvest openings of three sizes (0.13, 0.26, and 0.50 ha). Our study was conducted during four bird use periods (spring migration, breeding, post-breeding, and fall migration) in 2002 and 2003. Arthropods were reduced in treated gaps by 68% in 2002 and 73% in 2003. We used mist-netting captures and foraging attack rates to assess the influence of arthropod abundance on avian habitat use. Evidence that birds responded to arthropod abundance was limited and inconsistent. In 2002, we generally captured more birds in treated gaps of the smallest size (0.13 ha) and fewer birds in treated gaps of the larger sizes. In 2003, we recorded few differences in the number of captures in treated and control gaps. Foraging attack rates generally were lower in treated than in control gaps, indicating that birds were able to adapt to the reduced food availability and remain in treated gaps. We conclude that arthropod abundance was not a proximate factor controlling whether forest birds used our gaps. The abundance of food resources may not be as important in determining avian habitat selection as previous research has indicated, at least for passerines in temperate subtropical regions.

  15. How Do Landscape Structure, Management and Habitat Quality Drive the Colonization of Habitat Patches by the Dryad Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae) in Fragmented Grassland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalarus, Konrad; Nowicki, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    Most studies dealing with species distribution patterns on fragmented landscapes focus on the characteristics of habitat patches that influence local occurrence and abundance, but they tend to neglect the question of what drives colonization of previously unoccupied patches. In a study of the dryad butterfly, we combined classical approaches derived from metapopulation theory and landscape ecology to investigate the factors driving colonization from a recent refugium. In three consecutive transect surveys, we recorded the presence and numbers of imagos in 27 patches of xerothermic grassland and 26 patches of wet meadow. Among the predictors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the dryad, we considered environmental variables reflecting (i) habitat patch quality (e.g., goldenrod cover, shrub density, vegetation height); (ii) factors associated with habitat spatial structure (patch size, patch isolation and fragmentation); and (iii) features of patch surroundings (100-m buffers around patches) that potentially pose barriers or provide corridors. Patch colonization by the dryad was strongly limited by the distance from the species refugium in the region; there was a slight positive effect of shrub density in this respect. Butterfly abundance increased in smaller and more fragmented habitat patches; it was negatively impacted by invasive goldenrod cover, and positively influenced by the density of watercourses in patch surroundings. Nectar plant availability was positively related to species abundance in xerothermic grassland, while in wet meadow the effect was the reverse. We conclude that dryad colonization of our study area is very recent, since the most important factor limiting colonization was distance from the refugium, while the habitat quality of target patches had less relevance. In order to preserve the species, conservation managers should focus on enhancing the quality of large patches and should also direct their efforts on smaller and more

  16. How Do Landscape Structure, Management and Habitat Quality Drive the Colonization of Habitat Patches by the Dryad Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Satyrinae in Fragmented Grassland?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konrad Kalarus

    Full Text Available Most studies dealing with species distribution patterns on fragmented landscapes focus on the characteristics of habitat patches that influence local occurrence and abundance, but they tend to neglect the question of what drives colonization of previously unoccupied patches. In a study of the dryad butterfly, we combined classical approaches derived from metapopulation theory and landscape ecology to investigate the factors driving colonization from a recent refugium. In three consecutive transect surveys, we recorded the presence and numbers of imagos in 27 patches of xerothermic grassland and 26 patches of wet meadow. Among the predictors affecting the occurrence and abundance of the dryad, we considered environmental variables reflecting (i habitat patch quality (e.g., goldenrod cover, shrub density, vegetation height; (ii factors associated with habitat spatial structure (patch size, patch isolation and fragmentation; and (iii features of patch surroundings (100-m buffers around patches that potentially pose barriers or provide corridors. Patch colonization by the dryad was strongly limited by the distance from the species refugium in the region; there was a slight positive effect of shrub density in this respect. Butterfly abundance increased in smaller and more fragmented habitat patches; it was negatively impacted by invasive goldenrod cover, and positively influenced by the density of watercourses in patch surroundings. Nectar plant availability was positively related to species abundance in xerothermic grassland, while in wet meadow the effect was the reverse. We conclude that dryad colonization of our study area is very recent, since the most important factor limiting colonization was distance from the refugium, while the habitat quality of target patches had less relevance. In order to preserve the species, conservation managers should focus on enhancing the quality of large patches and should also direct their efforts on smaller and

  17. Relative roles of grey squirrels, supplementary feeding, and habitat in shaping urban bird assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnington, Colin; Gaston, Kevin J; Evans, Karl L

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK) we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.

  18. Relative roles of grey squirrels, supplementary feeding, and habitat in shaping urban bird assemblages.

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    Colin Bonnington

    Full Text Available Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.

  19. Degree of adaptive response in urban tolerant birds shows influence of habitat-of-origin

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    Lawrence E. Conole

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Urban exploiters and adapters are often coalesced under a term of convenience as ‘urban tolerant’. This useful but simplistic characterisation masks a more nuanced interplay between and within assemblages of birds that are more or less well adapted to a range of urban habitats. I test the hypotheses that objectively-defined urban exploiter and suburban adapter assemblages within the broad urban tolerant grouping in Melbourne vary in their responses within the larger group to predictor variables, and that the most explanatory predictor variables vary between the two assemblages. A paired, partitioned analysis of exploiter and adapter preferences for points along the urban–rural gradient was undertaken to decompose the overall trend into diagnosable parts for each assemblage. In a similar way to that in which time since establishment has been found to be related to high urban densities of some bird species and biogeographic origin predictive of urban adaptation extent, habitat origins of members of bird assemblages influence the degree to which they become urban tolerant. Bird species that objectively classify as urban tolerant will further classify as either exploiters or adapters according to the degree of openness of their habitats-of-origin.

  20. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey to assess broad-scale response of the continent's most imperiled avian community, grassland birds, to weather variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzo, Jessica; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Allstadt, Andrew J.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Avian populations can respond dramatically to extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves, yet patterns of response to weather at broad scales remain largely unknown. Our goal was to evaluate annual variation in abundance of 14 grassland bird species breeding in the northern mixed-grass prairie in relation to annual variation in precipitation and temperature. We modeled avian abundance during the breeding season using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the U.S. Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17) from 1980 to 2012. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to fit models and estimate the candidate weather parameters standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized temperature index (STI) for the same year and the previous year. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) responded positively to within-year STI (β = 0.101), and Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) responded negatively to within-year STI (β = −0.161) and positively to within-year SPI (β = 0.195). The parameter estimates were superficially similar (STI β = −0.075, SPI β = 0.11) for Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), but the best-selected model included an interaction between SPI and STI. The best model for both Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) included the additive effects of within-year SPI (β = −0.032 and β = −0.054, respectively) and the previous-year's SPI (β = −0.057 and −0.02, respectively), although for Vesper Sparrow the lag effect was insignificant. With projected warmer, drier weather during summer in the Badlands and Prairies BCR, Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows may be especially threatened by future climate change.

  1. Maladaptive habitat selection of a migratory passerine bird in a human-modified landscape.

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    Franck A Hollander

    Full Text Available In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio, as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human

  2. Habitat utilization by wetland birds of Munderikadavu, a proposed bird sanctuary in northern Kerala, India

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    R. Roshnath

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Munderikadavu is rich in avifaunal diversity. A total of 82 species of birds from 36 families belonging to 13 orders were recorded in the wetland including wetland dependant species. Lowland vegetation had the highest species richness (46 species followed by upland (41 species, aerial (38 species, emergent vegetation (22 species and paddy fields (21 species.  Open water had the lowest species richness. Upland vegetation had the highest species diversity (H′-3.19 followed by aerial (H′-2.52.  There was more species overlap between emergent and low land vegetations (Cm-0.7.  The threats in Munderikadavu wetland were dumping of waste and conversion of cultivation land into shrimp farming area. Thus land use changes need to be regulated in order to conserve the wetland and bird community.  

  3. Bioenergy and biodiversity: Intensified biomass extraction from hedges impairs habitat conditions for birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauerbrei, Ralf; Aue, Birgit; Krippes, Christian; Diehl, Eva; Wolters, Volkmar

    2017-02-01

    Biomass is increasingly used as an alternative source for energy in Europe. Woody material cut from hedges is considered to provide a suitable complement to maize and oilseed rape, which are currently the dominant biomass sources. Since shrubs and trees are also important habitats for birds, however, coppicing of hedges at the landscape scale may adversely affect the diversity of the avifauna. To evaluate this risk, we estimated the response of hedge birds to three management scenarios differing in cutting intensity and hedge selection. The analysis was done using hedge data of the Lautertal municipality (n = 339 hedges; Vogelsberg area, Hesse, Germany). It focused on 25 bird species, which are all listed in the hedge programme of the German Ornithological Stations. Information on the preferences of these birds for certain hedge features such as height or width was gathered by an extensive literature review. A cluster analysis on the consolidated literature data allowed us to identify three groups of birds according to their preference for certain hedge attributes. Two groups, which included Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella L.) (i) and Blackbird (Turdus merula L.) (ii), favoured trees located in hedges, but differed in their preference for hedge shape, with (i) being attracted by long and broad hedges and (ii) by high hedges. The third group, which included the Whitethroat (Sylvia communis L.), preferred small hedges with gaps and medium vegetation density. Spatially explicit suitability models based on these data allowed us to predict the status quo of hedge suitability for these species groups. Field surveys proved the accuracy of the predictions to be sufficient, since the hedge suitability predicted was significantly and positively correlated to the occurrence of 9 out of the 12 testable focal species. Our models predicted biomass extraction to almost always reduce hedge suitability for the three bird groups. Concerning the Yellowhammer and the Blackbird

  4. Specialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats

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    Harzé, Mélanie; Mahy, Grégory; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe; Piqueray, Julien; Monty, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference p...

  5. Differential recovery of habitat use by birds after wind farm installation: A multi-year comparison

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farfán, M.A., E-mail: mafarfanaguilar@hotmail.com [Biogea Consultores, Calle Navarro Ledesma 243, Portal 4, 3° C, 29010, Málaga (Spain); Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Duarte, J., E-mail: jddofitecma@gmail.com [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Ofitecma, Calle Colombia 5, 29400 Ronda, Málaga (Spain); Real, R. [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Muñoz, A.R., E-mail: roman@uma.es [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Departamento de Botànica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Avda. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot, Valencia (Spain); Fa, J.E., E-mail: jfa949@gmail.com [Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Vargas, J.M. [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain)

    2017-05-15

    Onshore wind farms remain one of the most widely used technologies for the production of renewable energy. These are known to affect birds through disturbance or collision. Most research focus on the impact of wind farms on raptors or other large bird species, especially those of conservation concern. However, limited information exists on the effect of wind farms on small birds. Recovery of large versus small bird populations impacted by wind farms is also largely unstudied. A reason for this is the lack of long-term datasets based on standardized, systematic assessments. We monitored birds in the vicinity of a wind farm in an upland habitat in southern Spain (Malaga province), immediately after installation and 6.5 years post-construction. During both study periods, we observed 11 raptor and 38 non-raptor species (including 30 passerines). We found differences in recovery rates between raptors and non-raptors. Raptors showed an upturn in numbers but non-raptor abundance fell significantly. Greater attention should be paid to the recovery of wildlife after initial impact assessments than at present. This study confirms that regulatory authorities and developers should consider the likely impacts of wind farms on small bird populations. Mitigation measures focused particularly on non-raptor species should be considered and implemented as a means to reduce these negative effects.

  6. Differential recovery of habitat use by birds after wind farm installation: A multi-year comparison

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farfán, M.A.; Duarte, J.; Real, R.; Muñoz, A.R.; Fa, J.E.; Vargas, J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Onshore wind farms remain one of the most widely used technologies for the production of renewable energy. These are known to affect birds through disturbance or collision. Most research focus on the impact of wind farms on raptors or other large bird species, especially those of conservation concern. However, limited information exists on the effect of wind farms on small birds. Recovery of large versus small bird populations impacted by wind farms is also largely unstudied. A reason for this is the lack of long-term datasets based on standardized, systematic assessments. We monitored birds in the vicinity of a wind farm in an upland habitat in southern Spain (Malaga province), immediately after installation and 6.5 years post-construction. During both study periods, we observed 11 raptor and 38 non-raptor species (including 30 passerines). We found differences in recovery rates between raptors and non-raptors. Raptors showed an upturn in numbers but non-raptor abundance fell significantly. Greater attention should be paid to the recovery of wildlife after initial impact assessments than at present. This study confirms that regulatory authorities and developers should consider the likely impacts of wind farms on small bird populations. Mitigation measures focused particularly on non-raptor species should be considered and implemented as a means to reduce these negative effects.

  7. The influence of fire on the assemblage structure of foraging birds in grasslands of the Serra da Canastra National Park, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matheus G. Reis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are the most threatened physiognomies of the Cerrado biome (Brazilian savanna, a biodiversity hotspot with conservation as a priority. The Serra da Canastra National Park protects the most important remnants of the Cerrado's southern grasslands, which are under strong anthropogenic pressure. The present study describes the structure of bird assemblages that directly use food resources in burned areas, comparing areas affected by natural fire to the areas where controlled fires were set (a management strategy to combat arson. The tested null hypothesis was that different bird assemblages are structured in a similar manner, regardless of the post-fire period or assessed area. Between December/2012 and January/2015, 92 species were recorded foraging in the study areas. The results indicate that both types of burnings triggered profound and immediate changes in bird assemblages, increasing the number of species and individuals. Natural fires exhibited a more significant influence on the structure (diversity and dominance than prescribed burnings. Nevertheless, all the differences were no longer noticeable after a relatively short time interval of 2-3 months after prescribed burnings and 3-4 after natural fires. The findings may help the understanding of prescribed burnings as a management strategy for bird conservation in grasslands.

  8. Field irradiator gamma: pre-irradiation occurrence of breeding birds in three boreal habitats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seabloom, R.W.

    1975-10-01

    A trail census was conducted of the breeding birds found in three major habitats in the Field Irradiator Gamma area at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, Pinawa, Manitoba. The area sampled was about 10.50 ha in size, and included 4.25 ha of upland forest, 4.75 ha of lowland conifers, and 1.50 ha of black spruce-tamarack bog. Forty-four species of birds were identified, of which 24 were considered to be resident in the study area. The highest population density was observed in the bog, followed by upland forest and lowland conifer respectively. In contrast, species diversity was greatest in the upland forest, while it decreased markedly in the relatively monotypic lowland conifer and bog habitats. (author)

  9. Consequences of habitat change and resource selection specialization for population limitation in cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.

  10. Conservation of disturbance-dependent birds in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Hunter; David A. Buehler; Ronald A. Canterbury; John L. Confer; Paul B. Hamel

    2001-01-01

    Populations of most bird species associated with grassland, shrub-scrub habitats, and disturbed areas in forested habitats (hereafter all referred to as disturbance-dependent species) have declined steeply. However, a widespread perception exists that disturbance-dependent species are merely returning to population levels likely found by the first European explorers...

  11. Habitat quality affects stress responses and survival in a bird wintering under extremely low ambient temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cīrule, Dina; Krama, Tatjana; Krams, Ronalds; Elferts, Didzis; Kaasik, Ants; Rantala, Markus J.; Mierauskas, Pranas; Luoto, Severi; Krams, Indrikis A.

    2017-12-01

    Animals normally respond to stressful environmental stimuli by releasing glucocorticoid hormones. We investigated whether baseline corticosterone (CORT), handling-induced corticosterone concentration(s), and body condition indices of members of willow tit ( Poecile montanus) groups differed while wintering in old growth forests and managed young forests in mild weather conditions and during cold spells. Willow tits spend the winter season in non-kin groups in which dominant individuals typically claim their priority to access resources, while subordinate individuals may experience greater levels of stress and higher mortality, especially during cold spells. We captured birds to measure baseline CORT and levels of handling-induced CORT secretion after 20 min of capture. Willow tits in the young forests had higher baseline CORT and a smaller increase in CORT in response to capture than individuals in the old forests. Baseline CORT was higher in females and juvenile birds compared to adult males, whereas handling-induced CORT secretion did not differ between birds of different ages. During cold spells, baseline CORT of willow tits increased and handling-induced CORT secretion decreased, especially in birds in young forests. Willow tits' survival was higher in the old forests, with dominant individuals surviving better than subordinates. Our results show that changes in CORT secretion reflect responses to habitat quality and climate harshness, indicating young managed coniferous forests as a suboptimal habitat for the willow tit.

  12. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus using reservoir shoreline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Anteau

    Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  13. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: a ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus) using reservoir shoreline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T

    2012-01-01

    Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  14. The Balkan wet grassland vegetation: a prerequisite to better understanding of European habitat diversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hájek, Michal; Hájková, Petra; Sopotlieva, D.; Apostolova, I.; Velev, N.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 195, č. 2 (2008), s. 197-213 ISSN 1385-0237 Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB6163302 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : climate * vegetation * grasslands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2008

  15. Large-scale Water-related Innovative Renewable Energy Projects and the Habitats and Birds Directives: Legal Issues and Solutions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hees, S.R.W.

    This article discusses two legal issues that relate to the conflict between the interest of protecting habitats and species under the Habitats and Birds Directives, versus the interest of promoting the use of innovative water-related renewable energy, with regard to the quota in the Renewable Energy

  16. Development and Validation of Spatially Explicit Habitat Models for Cavity-nesting Birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall A., Jr. Schultz; Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino

    2005-01-01

    The ability of USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) generated spatial products to increase the predictive accuracy of spatially explicit, macroscale habitat models was examined for nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. One FIA-derived variable (percent basal area of aspen trees) was significant in the habitat...

  17. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Jackson

    Full Text Available North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP, a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of

  18. Impacts of Traffic Noise and Traffic Volume on Birds of Roadside Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten M. Parris

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Roadside habitats are important for a range of taxa including plants, insects, mammals, and birds, particularly in developed countries in which large expanses of native vegetation have been cleared for agriculture or urban development. Although roadside vegetation may provide suitable habitat for many species, resident animals can be exposed to high levels of traffic noise, visual disturbance from passing vehicles, and the risk of collision with cars and trucks. Traffic noise can reduce the distance over which acoustic signals such as song can be detected, an effect known as acoustic interference or masking. Studies from the northern hemisphere show that the singing behavior of birds changes in the presence of traffic noise. We investigated the impact of traffic noise and traffic volume on two species of birds, the Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica and the Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa, at 58 roadside sites on the Mornington Peninsula, southeastern Australia. The lower singing Grey Shrike-thrush sang at a higher frequency in the presence of traffic noise, with a predicted increase in dominant frequency of 5.8 Hz/dB of traffic noise, and a total effect size of 209 Hz. In contrast, the higher singing Grey Fantail did not appear to change its song in traffic noise. The probability of detecting each species on a visit to a site declined substantially with increasing traffic noise and traffic volume, with several lines of evidence supporting a larger effect of traffic noise. Traffic noise could hamper detection of song by conspecifics, making it more difficult for birds to establish and maintain territories, attract mates and maintain pair bonds, and possibly leading to reduced breeding success in noisy roadside habitats. Closing key roads during the breeding season is a potential, but untested, management strategy to protect threatened bird species from traffic noise and collision with vehicles at the time of year when they are most

  19. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  20. An evaluation of rapid methods for monitoring vegetation characteristics of wetland bird habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavernia, Brian G.; Lyons, James E.; Loges, Brian W.; Wilson, Andrew; Collazo, Jaime A.; Runge, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Wetland managers benefit from monitoring data of sufficient precision and accuracy to assess wildlife habitat conditions and to evaluate and learn from past management decisions. For large-scale monitoring programs focused on waterbirds (waterfowl, wading birds, secretive marsh birds, and shorebirds), precision and accuracy of habitat measurements must be balanced with fiscal and logistic constraints. We evaluated a set of protocols for rapid, visual estimates of key waterbird habitat characteristics made from the wetland perimeter against estimates from (1) plots sampled within wetlands, and (2) cover maps made from aerial photographs. Estimated percent cover of annuals and perennials using a perimeter-based protocol fell within 10 percent of plot-based estimates, and percent cover estimates for seven vegetation height classes were within 20 % of plot-based estimates. Perimeter-based estimates of total emergent vegetation cover did not differ significantly from cover map estimates. Post-hoc analyses revealed evidence for observer effects in estimates of annual and perennial covers and vegetation height. Median time required to complete perimeter-based methods was less than 7 percent of the time needed for intensive plot-based methods. Our results show that rapid, perimeter-based assessments, which increase sample size and efficiency, provide vegetation estimates comparable to more intensive methods.

  1. Management of conservation reserve program grasslands to meet wildlife habitat objectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandever, Mark W.; Allen, Arthur W.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies document environmental and social benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This report offers a synopsis of findings regarding effects of establishing CRP conservation practices on the quality and distribution of wildlife habitat in agricultural landscapes. On individual farms, year-round provision of wildlife habitat by the CRP may appear relatively insignificant. However, considered from multi-farm to National scales, such improvements in habitat and wildlife response have proven to be extensive and profound.

  2. Habitats and landscapes associated with bird species in a lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmund J. Zlonis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human-induced effects on lowland conifer forests in hemiboreal regions are increasing because of expanded use of these northern ecosystems for raw materials, energy, and minerals as well as the potential effects of climatic changes. These forests support many breeding bird species across the Holarctic and allow the persistence of several boreal bird species in hemiboreal and even temperate regions. These bird species are of particular conservation concern as shifting patterns northward in forest composition caused by climate change will likely affect their populations. However, effective management and conservation options are limited because the specifics of these species' breeding habitats are not well understood. We modeled and mapped habitat suitability for 11 species of boreal birds that breed in the lowland conifer forests of the Agassiz Lowlands Ecological Subsection in northern Minnesota and are likely to have reduced breeding habitat in the future: Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis, Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus, Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris, Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus, Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis, Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum, and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis. Sets of 7 to 16 potential environmental covariates, including both stand-level and landscape attributes, were used to develop individual species models. Within this lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem, we found significant selection for specific forest and landscape characteristics by all but one of these species, with the best models including between one and nine variables. Habitat suitability maps were developed from these models and predictions tested with an independent dataset. Model performance depended on species, correctly predicting 56-96% of

  3. Testing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis with bird populations as habitat-specific environmental indicators: evidence from Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz, Van; Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto

    2008-04-01

    The traditional environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis postulates that environmental degradation follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We tested the EKC hypothesis with bird populations in 5 different habitats as environmental quality indicators. Because birds are considered environmental goods, for them the EKC hypothesis would instead be associated with a U-shaped relationship between bird populations and GDP per capita. In keeping with the literature, we included other variables in the analysis-namely, human population density and time index variables (the latter variable captured the impact of persistent and exogenous climate and/or policy changes on bird populations over time). Using data from 9 Canadian provinces gathered over 37 years, we used a generalized least-squares regression for each bird habitat type, which accounted for the panel structure of the data, the cross-sectional dependence across provinces in the residuals, heteroskedasticity, and fixed- or random-effect specifications of the models. We found evidence that supports the EKC hypothesis for 3 of the 5 bird population habitat types. In addition, the relationship between human population density and the different bird populations varied, which emphasizes the complex nature of the impact that human populations have on the environment. The relationship between the time-index variable and the different bird populations also varied, which indicates there are other persistent and significant influences on bird populations over time. Overall our EKC results were consistent with those found for threatened bird species, indicating that economic prosperity does indeed act to benefit some bird populations.

  4. Historical habitat connectivity affects current genetic structure in a grassland species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Münzbergová, Zuzana; Cousins, S.A.O.; Herben, Tomáš; Plačková, Ivana; Mildén, M.; Ehrlén, J.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 1 (2013), s. 195-202 ISSN 1435-8603 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Beals index * habitat isolation * habitat suitability Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.405, year: 2013

  5. Interaction between birds and macrofauna within food webs of six intertidal habitats of the Wadden Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Sabine; de la Vega, Camille; Asmus, Ragnhild; Schwemmer, Philipp; Enners, Leonie; Garthe, Stefan; Binder, Kirsten; Asmus, Harald

    2017-01-01

    The determination of food web structures using Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) is a helpful tool to get insight into complex ecosystem processes. The intertidal area of the Wadden Sea is structured into diverse habitat types which differ in their ecological functioning. In the present study, six different intertidal habitats (i.e. cockle field, razor clam field, mud flat, mussel bank, sand flat and seagrass meadow) were analyzed using ENA to determine similarities and characteristic differences in the food web structure of the systems. All six systems were well balanced between their degree of organization and their robustness. However, they differed in their detailed features. The cockle field and the mussel bank exhibited a strong dependency on external imports. The razor clam field appeared to be a rather small system with low energy transfer. In the mud flat microphytobenthos was used as a main food source and the system appeared to be sensitive to perturbations. Bird predation was the most pronounced in the sand flat and the seagrass meadow and led to an increase in energy transfer and parallel trophic cycles in these habitats. Habitat diversity appears to be an important trait for the Wadden Sea as each subsystem seems to have a specific role in the overall functioning of the entire ecosystem.

  6. Benthic Habitat-Based Framework for Ecological Production Functions: Case Study for Utilization by Estuarine Birds in a Northeast Pacific Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat-based frameworks have been proposed for developing Ecological Production Functions (EPFs) to describe the spatial distribution of ecosystem services. As proof of concept, we generated EPFs that compared bird use patterns among intertidal benthic habitats for Yaquina estu...

  7. Application of ground-truth for classification and quantification of bird movements on migratory bird habitat initiative sites in southwest Louisiana: final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Wylie C.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Randall, Lori A.; Pitre, John; Dudley, Kyle J.

    2013-01-01

    This project was initiated to assess migrating and wintering bird use of lands enrolled in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI). The MBHI program was developed in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, with the goal of improving/creating habitat for waterbirds affected by the spill. In collaboration with the University of Delaware (UDEL), we used weather surveillance radar data (Sieges 2014), portable marine radar data, thermal infrared images, and visual observations to assess bird use of MBHI easements. Migrating and wintering birds routinely make synchronous flights near dusk (e.g., departure during migration, feeding flights during winter). Weather radars readily detect birds at the onset of these flights and have proven to be useful remote sensing tools for assessing bird-habitat relations during migration and determining the response of wintering waterfowl to wetland restoration (e.g., Wetlands Reserve Program lands). However, ground-truthing is required to identify radar echoes to species or species group. We designed a field study to ground-truth a larger-scale, weather radar assessment of bird use of MBHI sites in southwest Louisiana. We examined seasonal bird use of MBHI fields in fall, winter, and spring of 2011-2012. To assess diurnal use, we conducted total area surveys of MBHI sites in the afternoon, collecting data on bird species composition, abundance, behavior, and habitat use. In the evenings, we quantified bird activity at the MBHI easements and described flight behavior (i.e., birds landing in, departing from, circling, or flying over the MBHI tract). Our field sampling captured the onset of evening flights and spanned the period of collection of the weather radar data analyzed. Pre- and post-dusk surveys were conducted using a portable radar system and a thermal infrared camera. Landbirds, shorebirds, and wading birds were commonly found on MBHI fields during diurnal

  8. Relative importance of habitat area and isolation for bird occurrence patterns in a naturally patchy landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, T.L.; Johnson, E.J.; Bissonette, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    There is debate among ecologists about whether total habitat area or patch arrangement contributes most to population and/or community responses to fragmented or patchy landscapes. We tested the relative effects of patch area and isolation for predicting bird occurrence in a naturally patchy landscape in the Bear River Mountains of Northern Utah, USA. We selected focal patches (mountain meadows) ranging in elevation from 1,920 to 2,860 m and in size from 0.6 to 182 ha. Breeding birds were sampled in each focal meadow during the summers of 2003 and 2004 using variable-distance point transects. Logistic regression and likelihood-based model selection were used to determine the relationship between likelihood of occurrence of three bird species (Brewer's sparrow, vesper sparrow, and white-crowned sparrow) and area, isolation, and proximity metrics. We used model weights and model-averaged confidence intervals to assess the importance of each predictor variable. Plots of area versus isolation were used to evaluate complex relationships between the variables. We found that meadow area was the most important variable for explaining occurrence for two species, and that isolation was the most important for the other. We also found that the absolute distance was more appropriate for evaluating isolation responses than was the species-specific proximity metric. Our findings add clarity to the debate between ecologists regarding the relative importance of area and isolation in species responses to patchy landscapes.

  9. Breeding Bird Assemblage in a Mosaic of Urbanized Habitats in a Central European City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland. In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8% and insectivores (37.9 %. Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.

  10. Breeding ecology and nesting habitat associations of five marsh bird species in western New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.

  11. Historical habitat connectivity affects current genetic structure in a grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münzbergová, Z; Cousins, S A O; Herben, T; Plačková, I; Mildén, M; Ehrlén, J

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have explored the effects of present and past landscape structure on species distribution and diversity. However, we know little about the effects of past landscape structure on distribution of genetic diversity within and between populations of a single species. Here we describe the relationship between present and past landscape structure (landscape connectivity and habitat size estimated from historical maps) and current genetic structure in a perennial herb, Succisa pratensis. We used allozymes as co-dominant markers to estimate genetic diversity and deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in 31 populations distributed within a 5 km(2) agricultural landscape. The results showed that current genetic diversity of populations was related to habitat suitability, habitat age, habitat size and habitat connectivity in the past. The effects of habitat age and past connectivity on genetic diversity were in most cases also significant after taking the current landscape structure into account. Moreover, current genetic similarity between populations was affected by past connectivity after accounting for current landscape structure. In both cases, the oldest time layer (1850) was the most informative. Most populations showed heterozygote excess, indicating disequilibrium due to recent gene flow or selection against homozygotes. These results suggest that habitat age and past connectivity are important determinants of distribution of genetic diversity between populations at a scale of a few kilometres. Landscape history may significantly contribute to our understanding of distribution of current genetic structure within species and the genetic structure may be used to better understand landscape history, even at a small scale. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  12. Response of bird community structure to habitat management in piñon-juniper woodland-sagebrush ecotones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Grace, James B.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Leu, Matthias

    2017-01-01

    Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have been expanding their range across the intermountain western United States into landscapes dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) shrublands. Management actions using prescribed fire and mechanical cutting to reduce woodland cover and control expansion provided opportunities to understand how environmental structure and changes due to these treatments influence bird communities in piñon-juniper systems. We surveyed 43 species of birds and measured vegetation for 1–3 years prior to treatment and 6–7 years post-treatment at 13 locations across Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. We used structural equation modeling to develop and statistically test our conceptual model that the current bird assembly at a site is structured primarily by the previous bird community with additional drivers from current and surrounding habitat conditions as well as external regional bird dynamics. Treatment reduced woodland cover by >5% at 80 of 378 survey sites. However, habitat change achieved by treatment was highly variable because actual disturbance differed widely in extent and intensity. Biological inertia in the bird community was the strongest single driver; 72% of the variation in the bird assemblage was explained by the community that existed seven years earlier. Greater net reduction in woodlands resulted in slight shifts in the bird community to one having ecotone or shrubland affinities. However, the overall influence of woodland changes from treatment were relatively small and were buffered by other extrinsic factors. Regional bird dynamics did not significantly influence the structure of local bird communities at our sites. Our results suggest that bird communities in piñon-juniper woodlands can be highly stable when management treatments are conducted in areas with more advanced woodland development and at the level of disturbance measured in our study.

  13. Testing hypotheses about management to enhance habitat for feeding birds in a freshwater wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindegarth, M; Chapman, M G

    2001-08-01

    The level of water was manipulated in a freshwater wetland, with the aim of enhancing abundances of benthic animals and, ultimately, improving habitat for feeding birds (Japanese Snipe, Gallinago hardwickii). We tested whether these actions had the predicted and desired effects on benthic animals, by contrasting changes in two managed locations to one control location which was left unmanipulated. The number of taxa and abundances of chironomids decreased strongly and significantly in the manipulated locations, while the abundance of oligochaetes appeared to vary in a seasonal manner. Temporal variability of the structure and composition of assemblages was also increased in manipulated locations. Such effects have previously been suggested to indicate stress in benthic assemblages. Therefore, in contrast to what was predicted, managerial actions made benthic fauna less abundant and thus, less suitable as habitat for feeding birds. Several general lessons can be learned from these results. (1) Effects of managerial actions like these are difficult to predict a priori and can only be reliably evaluated with an experimental framework. (2) Because abundances of animals vary naturally, evaluations of managerial actions must include appropriate spatial replication. (3) Sampling at hierarchical temporal scales is important, because abundances of animals may vary in an unpredictable manner at short temporal scales and because changes in temporal variability may be a symptom of stress. (4) Combined use of uni- and multivariate techniques provides a comprehensive set of tools to assess the effects of restoration and creation of new habitats. Finally, these results emphasise the need for clear predictions about desired outcomes and specific experimental plans about how to test whether the desired results were achieved, before managerial actions are taken. Although this is often very difficult to achieve in real situations, it is necessary for practices of management to evolve

  14. Targeted reforestation could reverse declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagan, Matthew E; DeFries, Ruth S; Sesnie, Steven E; Arroyo-Mora, J Pablo; Chazdon, Robin L

    2016-07-01

    Re-establishing connectivity between protected areas isolated by habitat clearing is a key conservation goal in the humid tropics. In northeastern Costa Rica, payments for environmental services (PES) and a government ban on deforestation have subsidized forest protection and reforestation in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor (SJLSBC), resulting in a decline in mature forest loss and the expansion of tree plantations. We use field studies and graph models to assess how conservation efforts have altered functional connectivity over the last 25 years for four species of insectivorous understory birds. Field playback studies assessed how reforestation habitat quality affected the willingness of Myrmeciza exsul, Henicorhina leucosticta, Thamnophilus atrinucha, and Glyphorynchus spirurus to travel outside forest habitat for territorial defense. Observed travel distances were greatest in nonnative and native tree plantations with high understory stem density, regardless of overstory composition. In contrast, tree plantations with low stem density had travel responses comparable to open pasture for three of the four bird species. We modeled landscape connectivity for each species using graph models based on varying possible travel distances in tree plantations, gallery forests, and pastures. From 1986 to 2011, connectivity for all species declined in the SJLSBC landscape (5825 km 2 ) by 14% to 21% despite only a 4.9% net loss in forest area and the rapid expansion of tree plantations over 2% of the landscape. Plantation placement in the landscape limited their potential facilitation of connectivity because they were located either far from forest cover or within already contiguous forest areas. We mapped current connectivity bottlenecks and identified priority areas for future reforestation. We estimate that reforestation of priority areas could improve connectivity by 2% with only a 1% gain in forest cover, an impressive gain given the small area reforested

  15. Bridging the conservation design and delivery gap for wetland bird habitat maintenance and restoration in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, W.E.; Potter, B.; Soulliere, G.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's adoption of Strategic Habitat Conservation is intended to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of conservation delivery by targeting effort in areas where biological benefits are greatest. Conservation funding has not often been allocated in accordance with explicit biological endpoints, and the gap between conservation design (the identification of conservation priority areas) and delivery needs to be bridged to better meet conservation goals for multiple species and landscapes. We introduce a regional prioritization scheme for North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding which explicitly addresses Midwest regional goals for wetland-dependent birds. We developed decision-support maps to guide conservation of breeding and non-breeding wetland bird habitat. This exercise suggested ~55% of the Midwest consists of potential wetland bird habitat, and areas suited for maintenance (protection) were distinguished from those most suited to restoration. Areas with greater maintenance focus were identified for central Minnesota, southeastern Wisconsin, the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and the shore of western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. The shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior accommodated fewer waterbird species overall, but were also important for wetland bird habitat maintenance. Abundant areas suited for wetland restoration occurred in agricultural regions of central Illinois, western Iowa, and northern Indiana and Ohio. Use of this prioritization scheme can increase effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and credibility to land and water conservation efforts for wetland birds in the Midwestern United States.

  16. Modeling the flocking propensity of passerine birds in two Neotropical habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomara, Lars Y; Cooper, Robert J; Petit, Lisa J

    2007-08-01

    We examined the importance of mixed-species flock abundance, individual bird home range size, foraging height, and foraging patch characteristics in predicting the propensity for five Neotropical passerine bird species (Slaty Antwren, Myrmotherula schisticolor; Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus; Slate-throated Redstart, Myioborus miniatus; Wilson's Warbler, Wilsonia pusilla; and Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia) to forage within flocks, rather than solitarily. We used study plots in primary mid-elevation forest and in shade coffee fields in western Panama. We expected that all species would spend as much time as possible flocking, but that the social and environmental factors listed above would limit compatibility between flock movements and individual bird movements, explaining variability in flocking propensity both within and among species. Flocking propensity was well predicted by home range size and flock abundance together, for four of the five species. While flock abundance was uniform across plots, home range sizes varied among species and plots, so that home range size appeared to be the principle factor limiting flocking propensity. Estimates of flock abundance were still required, however, for calculating flocking propensity values. Foraging height and patch characteristics slightly improved predictive ability for the remaining species, M. miniatus. In general, individual birds tended to join flocks whenever one was available inside their home range, regardless of a flock's specific location within the home range. Flocking propensities of individual species were lower in shade coffee fields than in forests, and probably vary across landscapes with variations in habitat. This variability affects the stability and species composition of flocks, and may affect survival rates of individual species.

  17. Climate Change, Northern Birds of Conservation Concern and Matching the Hotspots of Habitat Suitability with the Reserve Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420

  18. A checklist of the winter bird community in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ahmed

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed at preparing an inventory of the avifauna and to document the species composition of birds during winter in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Cachar District of Assam. Four habitat types, viz., tea plantation, ecotone zone, secondary growth forest and water bodies were selected within the tea estate and surveyed from mid-December 2010 (early winter to mid-April 2011 (late winter covering four months of survey. A total of 88 species were recorded during the survey period with the highest number of species in ecotone zone (n=63, followed by secondary forest (n=60, tea plantation (n=48 and water bodies (n=17. The species were further categorized into different feeding and habitat guilds to study the distribution of bird species in different habitat types according to various guilds.

  19. Energy crop cultivations of reed canary grass - An inferior breeding habitat for the skylark, a characteristic farmland bird species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vepsaelaeinen, Ville [Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki (Finland)

    2010-07-15

    Here, I present the first comparison of the abundance of farmland birds in energy grass fields and in cereal-dominated conventionally cultivated fields (CCFs). I demonstrate that in boreal farmland, skylark (Alauda arvensis) densities were significantly lower in reed canary grass (RCG) (Phalaris arundinacea) fields than in CCFs. I found that during the early breeding season RCG fields and CCFs are equally good habitats, but over the ensuing couple of weeks RCG rapidly grows too tall and dense for field-nesting species. Consequently, RCG is an inferior habitat for skylark for laying replacement clutches (after failure of first nesting) or for a second clutch after one successful nesting. The results imply that if RCG cultivation is to be expanded, the establishment of large monocultures should be avoided in farmland landscapes; otherwise the novel habitat may affect detrimentally the seriously depleted skylark population, and probably also other field-nesting bird species with similar breeding habitats. (author)

  20. [Bird biodiversity in natural and modified habitats in a landscape of the Central Depression of Chiapas, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E

    2010-03-01

    In many parts of the neotropics, the original habitats are rapidly changing because of excessive logging, agriculture and livestock activity, with an often negative impact on bird communities. I present an analysis of the diversity and richness of birds in a fragmented landscape of the Central Chiapas Depression. Fieldwork was conducted from February 2003 to January 2004. Using point counts, a total of 35 families and 225 bird species were registered (164 residents and 61 migratory); 3% are abundant and 30% rare. Diversity, species richness and number of individuals were significantly higher in tropical deciduous forest (H'=3.41, 178 species ANOVA pbirds species in the study area.

  1. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  2. Avifaunal diversity and bird community responses to man-made habitats in St. Coombs Tea Estate, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including 11 endemic and 11 migrant species of birds, was recorded, which included one globally threatened species, Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and 16 nationally threatened species. A majority of the bird species were observed in home gardens (75%, followed by reservoirs (57%, wetlands (48%, tea plantations (43% and in Eucalyptus plantations (23%. Home gardens support bird diversity while the species richness of endemic bird species increases thereby enabling these findings to be used as guidelines in long term conservational practices. Several conservation measures such as increasing plant diversity, introduction of shade trees and prevention of fire are recommended to conserve and enhance avifaunal diversity in tea plantations.

  3. Habitat factors influencing the distribution of Cymbopogon validus in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Habitat factors influencing the distribution of Cymbopogon validus in Mkambati Game Reserve, Transkei. ... disturbance; game reserve; grassland; grasslands; habitat conditions; habitat factors; mkambati game ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  4. Management aspects of Building with Nature projects in the context of the EU Bird and Habitat Directives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vikolainen, Vera; Bressers, Hans; Lulofs, Kris

    2011-01-01

    The implementation of the EU Bird and Habitat Directives by the ports and dredging industry caused severe project disruptions across North-West Europe in the past. The prevalence of negative experience triggered a new approach, which aims to integrate site-specific ecosystem characteristics and

  5. 76 FR 11506 - Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Draft Land-Based Wind Energy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-02

    ...] RIN 1018-AX45 Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Draft Land-Based Wind... Impacts from Wind Turbines (Interim Guidance). As stated in the notice, the comment period on the draft... Minimizing Wildlife Impacts from Wind Turbines. We expect to issue final Guidelines for public use after...

  6. 77 FR 17496 - Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Final Land-Based Wind Energy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-26

    ...] RIN 1018-AX45 Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Final Land-Based Wind...) established the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee) under the Federal Advisory Committee... concern over certain issues such as the effects of wind turbine noise on wildlife, these issues have not...

  7. Effectiveness of the Wild Birds and Habitats Directives in the Wadden Sea area : will the tiger loose its teath?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschuuren, J.M.; Laursen, K.

    2006-01-01

    Almost the entire Wadden Sea area has been designated by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands as a Special Protection Area under the Wild Birds Directive and as a Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive. The new Water Framework Directive will, eventually, also have consequences for

  8. Parasite specialization in a unique habitat: hummingbirds as reservoirs of generalist blood parasites of Andean birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moens, Michaël A J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Paca, Anahi; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Aguirre, Nikolay; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how parasites fill their ecological niches requires information on the processes involved in the colonization and exploitation of unique host species. Switching to hosts with atypical attributes may favour generalists broadening their niches or may promote specialization and parasite diversification as the consequence. We analysed which blood parasites have successfully colonized hummingbirds, and how they have evolved to exploit such a unique habitat. We specifically asked (i) whether the assemblage of Haemoproteus parasites of hummingbirds is the result of single or multiple colonization events, (ii) to what extent these parasites are specialized in hummingbirds or shared with other birds and (iii) how hummingbirds contribute to sustain the populations of these parasites, in terms of both prevalence and infection intensity. We sampled 169 hummingbirds of 19 species along an elevation gradient in Southern Ecuador to analyse the host specificity, diversity and infection intensity of Haemoproteus by molecular and microscopy techniques. In addition, 736 birds of 112 species were analysed to explore whether hummingbird parasites are shared with other birds. Hummingbirds hosted a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of generalist Haemoproteus lineages shared with other host orders. Among these parasites, Haemoproteus witti stood out as the most generalized. Interestingly, we found that infection intensities of this parasite were extremely low in passerines (with no detectable gametocytes), but very high in hummingbirds, with many gametocytes seen. Moreover, infection intensities of H. witti were positively correlated with the prevalence across host species. Our results show that hummingbirds have been colonized by generalist Haemoproteus lineages on multiple occasions. However, one of these generalist parasites (H. witti) seems to be highly dependent on hummingbirds, which arise as the most relevant reservoirs in terms of both prevalence and

  9. Remote sensing-based landscape indicators for the evaluation of threatened-bird habitats in a tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Minerva; Tokola, Timo; Hou, Zhengyang; Notarnicola, Claudia

    2017-07-01

    Avian species persistence in a forest patch is strongly related to the degree of isolation and size of a forest patch and the vegetation structure within a patch and its matrix are important predictors of bird habitat suitability. A combination of space-borne optical (Landsat), ALOS-PALSAR (radar), and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data was used for assessing variation in forest structure across forest patches that had undergone different levels of forest degradation in a logged forest-agricultural landscape in Southern Laos. The efficacy of different remote sensing (RS) data sources in distinguishing forest patches that had different seizes, configurations, and vegetation structure was examined. These data were found to be sensitive to the varying levels of degradation of the different patch categories. Additionally, the role of local scale forest structure variables (characterized using the different RS data and patch area) and landscape variables (characterized by distance from different forest patches) in influencing habitat preferences of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red listed birds found in the study area was examined. A machine learning algorithm, MaxEnt, was used in conjunction with these data and field collected geographical locations of the avian species to identify the factors influencing habitat preference of the different bird species and their suitable habitats. Results show that distance from different forest patches played a more important role in influencing habitat suitability for the different avian species than local scale factors related to vegetation structure and health. In addition to distance from forest patches, LiDAR-derived forest structure and Landsat-derived spectral variables were important determinants of avian habitat preference. The models derived using MaxEnt were used to create an overall habitat suitability map (HSM) which mapped the most suitable habitat patches for sustaining all the

  10. The evolution of coloniality in birds in relation to food, habitat, predation, and life-history traits: a comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, C; Danchin, E; de Fraipont, M

    1998-06-01

    Coloniality in birds has been intensively studied under the cost and benefit approach, but no general conclusion can be given concerning its evolutionary function. Here, we report on a comparative analysis carried out on 320 species of birds using the general method of comparative analysis for discrete variables and the contrast method to analyze the evolution of coloniality. Showing a mean of 23 convergences and 10 reversals, coloniality appears to be a rather labile trait. Colonial breeding appears strongly correlated with the absence of feeding territory, the aquatic habitat, and nest exposure to predators but was not correlated with changes in life-history traits (body mass and clutch size). The correlation of coloniality with the aquatic habitat is in fact explained by a strong correlation with the marine habitat. Unexpectedly, we found that the evolution toward a marine habitat in birds was contingent on coloniality and that coloniality evolved before the passage to a marine life. These results-along with the lack of transitions from the nonmarine to marine habitat in solitary species and the precedence of the loss of feeding territoriality on the passage to a marine life-contradict most of the hypotheses classically accepted to explain coloniality and suggest that we use a different framework to study this evolutionary enigma.

  11. Bird assemblages in natural and urbanized habitats along elevational gradient in Nainital district (western Himalaya of Uttarakhand state, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinesh BHATT, Kamal Kant JOSHI

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The Indian subcontinent is amongst the biologically better known parts of the tropics and its bird fauna has been well documented. However, avian community composition and diversity along elevational gradients and amongst habitat types remains unclear in India. We attempted to estimate bird assemblages in terms of diversity, species composition, status and abundance in urban and forest habitats of Nainital district of Uttarakhand (350–2450 m asl; 29°N, Western Himalayas. We sampled different elevational gradients and to understand the effect of urbanization and season on avian community composition. Field studies were conducted during January 2005 to January 2007. Results indicated that the forest had more complex bird community structure in terms of higher species richness (14.35 vs 8.69, higher species diversity (Shannon’s index 4.00 vs 3.54, higher evenness (0.838 vs 0.811 and more rare species (17 vs 5 as compared to urban habitat. However, the abundance of 11 species was higher in urban habitats. Bird Species Richness (BSR varied considerably among study areas (91 to 113 species, was highest (113 species at mid elevation (1450–1700 m asl and decreased (22 species at high elevation (1900–2450 m asl. It seems that high BSR at mid altitudes is not caused by the presence of a group of mid altitude specialists but rather that there is an overlap in the distribution of low land and high elevation specialists at this altitude. BSR and Bird Species Diversity fluctuated across seasons but not habitat type [Current Zoology 57 (3: 318–329, 2011].

  12. The Oak Woodland Bird Conservation Plan: A Strategy for Protecting and Managing Oak Woodland Habitats and Associated Birds in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Zack; Mary K. Chase; Geoffrey R. Geupel; Diana Stralberg

    2005-01-01

    Over 330 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians depend on oak woodlands in California (fig. 1) at some stage in their life cycle (Barrett 1980; Verner 1980; Block and Morrison 1998). These woodlands are able to sustain such abundant wildlife primarily because they produce acorns, a high quality and frequently copious food supply. The birds of California?s...

  13. Bird-community responses to habitat creation in a long-term, large-scale natural experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whytock, Robin C; Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa; Watts, Kevin; Barbosa De Andrade, Patanjaly; Whytock, Rory T; French, Paul; Macgregor, Nicholas A; Park, Kirsty J

    2018-04-01

    Ecosystem function and resilience are compromised when habitats become fragmented due to land-use change. This has led to national and international conservation strategies aimed at restoring habitat extent and improving functional connectivity (i.e., maintaining dispersal processes). However, biodiversity responses to landscape-scale habitat creation and the relative importance of spatial and temporal scales are poorly understood, and there is disagreement over which conservation strategies should be prioritized. We used 160 years of historic post-agricultural woodland creation as a natural experiment to evaluate biodiversity responses to habitat creation in a landscape context. Birds were surveyed in 101 secondary, broadleaf woodlands aged 10-160 years with ≥80% canopy cover and in landscapes with 0-17% broadleaf woodland cover within 3000 m. We used piecewise structural equation modeling to examine the direct and indirect relationships between bird abundance and diversity, ecological continuity, patch characteristics, and landscape structure and quantified the relative conservation value of local and landscape scales for bird communities. Ecological continuity indirectly affected overall bird abundance and species richness through its effects on stand structure, but had a weaker influence (effect size near 0) on the abundance and diversity of species most closely associated with woodland habitats. This was probably because woodlands were rapidly colonized by woodland generalists in ≤10 years (minimum patch age) but were on average too young (median 50 years) to be colonized by woodland specialists. Local patch characteristics were relatively more important than landscape characteristics for bird communities. Based on our results, biodiversity responses to habitat creation depended on local- and landscape-scale factors that interacted across time and space. We suggest that there is a need for further studies that focus on habitat creation in a landscape

  14. Canadian Estimate of Bird Mortality Due to Collisions and Direct Habitat Loss Associated with Wind Turbine Developments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ryan. Zimmerling

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We estimated impacts on birds from the development and operation of wind turbines in Canada considering both mortality due to collisions and loss of nesting habitat. We estimated collision mortality using data from carcass searches for 43 wind farms, incorporating correction factors for scavenger removal, searcher efficiency, and carcasses that fell beyond the area searched. On average, 8.2 ± 1.4 birds (95% C.I. were killed per turbine per year at these sites, although the numbers at individual wind farms varied from 0 - 26.9 birds per turbine per year. Based on 2955 installed turbines (the number installed in Canada by December 2011, an estimated 23,300 birds (95% C.I. 20,000 - 28,300 would be killed from collisions with turbines each year. We estimated direct habitat loss based on data from 32 wind farms in Canada. On average, total habitat loss per turbine was 1.23 ha, which corresponds to an estimated total habitat loss due to wind farms nationwide of 3635 ha. Based on published estimates of nest density, this could represent habitat for ~5700 nests of all species. Assuming nearby habitats are saturated, and 2 adults displaced per nest site, effects of direct habitat loss are less than that of direct mortality. Installed wind capacity is growing rapidly, and is predicted to increase more than 10-fold over the next 10-15 years, which could lead to direct mortality of approximately 233,000 birds / year, and displacement of 57,000 pairs. Despite concerns about the impacts of biased correction factors on the accuracy of mortality estimates, these values are likely much lower than those from collisions with some other anthropogenic sources such as windows, vehicles, or towers, or habitat loss due to many other forms of development. Species composition data suggest that < 0.2% of the population of any species is currently affected by mortality or displacement from wind turbine development. Therefore, population level impacts are unlikely

  15. A resource-based modelling framework to assess habitat suitability for steppe birds in semiarid Mediterranean agricultural systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cardador

    Full Text Available European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species' key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site, and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species' distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species' occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.

  16. Preferred habitat of breeding birds may be compromised by climate change: unexpected effects of an exceptionally cold, wet spring.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Whitehouse

    Full Text Available Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing temperatures. However, few have considered the likely outcome of predicted extreme conditions and the relative vulnerability of populations in different habitats. Here, we compare phenology and breeding success in great tits and blue tits over a 10 year period, including the extremely harsh conditions during spring 2012, at three sites in eastern England--mixed deciduous woodland, riparian and urban habitat. Production, measured as brood biomass, was significantly lower in 2012 compared with the previous 9 years, with the decrease in productivity relatively greatest in woodland habitat. Production was related to hatch delay, i.e. birds not initiating incubation immediately after clutch completion, which was more common in 2012 than in previous years. The best predictor of hatch delay was daytime temperature (not nighttime minimum temperature and rainfall, which convincingly reflected low growth and activity of caterpillar prey. We found that birds breeding in riparian and urban habitats were less vulnerable to the extremes of weather than those breeding in mixed deciduous woodland.

  17. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes.

  18. Heat loss may explain bill size differences between birds occupying different habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Greenberg

    Full Text Available Research on variation in bill morphology has focused on the role of diet. Bills have other functions, however, including a role in heat and water balance. The role of the bill in heat loss may be particularly important in birds where water is limiting. Song sparrows localized in coastal dunes and salt marsh edge (Melospiza melodia atlantica are similar in size to, but have bills with a 17% greater surface area than, those that live in mesic habitats (M. m. melodia, a pattern shared with other coastal sparrows. We tested the hypotheses that sparrows can use their bills to dissipate "dry" heat, and that heat loss from the bill is higher in M. m. atlantica than M. m. melodia, which would indicate a role of heat loss and water conservation in selection for bill size.Bill, tarsus, and body surface temperatures were measured using thermal imaging of sparrows exposed to temperatures from 15-37°C and combined with surface area and physical modeling to estimate the contribution of each body part to total heat loss. Song sparrow bills averaged 5-10°C hotter than ambient. The bill of M. m atlantica dissipated up to 33% more heat and 38% greater proportion of total heat than that of M. m. melodia. This could potentially reduce water loss requirements by approximately 7.7%.This >30% higher heat loss in the bill of M. m. atlantica is independent of evaporative water loss and thus could play an important role in the water balance of sparrows occupying the hot and exposed dune/salt marsh environments during the summer. Heat loss capacity and water conservation could play an important role in the selection for bill size differences between bird populations and should be considered along with trophic adaptations when studying variation in bill size.

  19. Species- and sex-specific connectivity effects of habitat fragmentation in a suite of woodland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, Nevil; Harrisson, Katherine A; Radford, James Q; White, Matt; Newell, Graeme; Mac Nally, Ralph; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra

    2014-06-01

    Loss of functional connectivity following habitat loss and fragmentation could drive species declines. A comprehensive understanding of fragmentation effects on functional connectivity of an ecological assemblage requires investigation of multiple species with different mobilities, at different spatial scales, for each sex, and in different landscapes. Based on published data on mobility and ecological responses to fragmentation of 10 woodland-dependent birds, and using simulation studies, we predicted that (1) fragmentation would impede dispersal and gene flow of eight "decliners" (species that disappear from suitable patches when landscape-level tree cover falls below species-specific thresholds), but not of two "tolerant" species (whose occurrence in suitable habitat patches is independent of landscape tree cover); and that fragmentation effects would be stronger (2) in the least mobile species, (3) in the more philopatric sex, and (4) in the more fragmented region. We tested these predictions by evaluating spatially explicit isolation-by-landscape-resistance models of gene flow in fragmented landscapes across a 50 x 170 km study area in central Victoria, Australia, using individual and population genetic distances. To account for sex-biased dispersal and potential scale- and configuration-specific effects, we fitted models specific to sex and geographic zones. As predicted, four of the least mobile decliners showed evidence of reduced genetic connectivity. The responses were strongly sex specific, but in opposite directions in the two most sedentary species. Both tolerant species and (unexpectedly) four of the more mobile decliners showed no reduction in gene flow. This is unlikely to be due to time lags because more mobile species develop genetic signatures of fragmentation faster than do less mobile ones. Weaker genetic effects were observed in the geographic zone with more aggregated vegetation, consistent with gene flow being unimpeded by landscape

  20. Offsets and conservation of the species of the EU habitats and birds directives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnery, Baptiste; Couvet, Denis; Kerbiriou, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Biodiversity offsets are intended to achieve no net loss of biodiversity due to economic and human development. A variety of biodiversity components are addressed by offset policies. It is required that loss of protected species due to development be offset under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives in Europe. We call this type of offset a species-equality offset because the offset pertains to the same species affected by the development project. Whether species equality can be achieved by offset design is unknown. We addressed this gap by reviewing derogation files (i.e., specific files that describe mitigation measures to ensure no net loss under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives) from 85 development projects in France (2009-2010). We collected information on type of effect (reversible vs. irreversible) and characteristics of affected and offset sites (i.e., types of species, total area). We analyzed how the type of effect and the affected-site characteristics influenced the occurrence of offset measures. The proportion of species targeted by offset measures (i.e., offset species) increased with the irreversibility of the effect of development and the conservation status of the species affected by development (i.e., affected species). Not all effects on endangered species (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List) were offset; on average, 82% of affected species would be offset. Twenty-six percent of species of least concern were offset species. Thirty-five percent of development projects considered all affected species in their offset measures. Species richness was much lower in offset sites than in developed sites even after offset proposals. For developed areas where species richness was relatively high before development, species richness at offset sites was 5-10 times lower. The species-equality principle appears to have been applied only partially in offset policies, as in the EU directives. We suggest the application of this principle

  1. Potential role of frugivorous birds (Passeriformes) on seed dispersal of six plant species in a restinga habitat, southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Verônica Souza da Mota; Correia, Maria Célia Rodrigues; de Lima, Heloisa Alves; Alves, Maria Alice S

    2008-03-01

    Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation) is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1,680 net-hrs) and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis) in the present study

  2. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results

  3. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-04-26

    With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.

  4. Bird diversity along a gradient of fragmented habitats of the Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesus, Shayana DE; Pedro, Wagner A; Bispo, Arthur A

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the factors that affect biodiversity is of central interest to ecology, and essential to species conservation and ecosystems management. We sampled bird communities in 17 forest fragments in the Cerrado biome, the Central-West region of Brazil. We aimed to know the communities structure pattern and the influence of geographical distance and environmental variables on them, along a gradient of fragmented habitats at both local and landscape scales. Eight structural variables of the fragments served as an environmental distance measurement at the local scale while five metrics served as an environmental distance measurement at the landscape scale. Species presence-absence data were used to calculate the dissimilarity index. Beta diversity was calculated using three indices (βsim, βnes and βsor), representing the spatial species turnover, nestedness and total beta diversity, respectively. Spatial species turnover was the predominant pattern in the structure of the communities. Variations in beta diversity were explained only by the environmental variables of the landscape with spatial configuration being more important than the composition. This fact indicates that, in Cerrado of Goiás avian communities structure, deterministic ecological processes associated to differences in species responses to landscape fragmentation are more important than stochastic processes driven by species dispersal.

  5. Landscape Metrics to Assess Habitat Suitability for Conversation Bird Species in the Southeastern United States

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dove, Linda

    2001-01-01

    .... The degree to which a given species is affected by habitat fragmentation is dependent on the complex interaction of the habitat requirements of the species and the shape, size, and makeup of the fragmented habitat...

  6. Factors Influencing Expanded Use of Urban Marine Habitats by Foraging Wading Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban marine habitats are often utilized by wildlife for foraging and other activities despite surrounding anthropogenic impact or disturbance. However little is known of the ecological factors that determine habitat value of these and other remnant natural habitats. We examine...

  7. Effects of human activities on birds and their habitats as reported by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Species-rich tropical forests are becoming increasingly fragmented, degraded and are declining due ... of birds for subsistence use (10%) only affected certain bird species. The age ..... Rural-urban residence, modernism and fertility. A study of ...

  8. A Study of the Effects of Gas Well Compressor Noise on Breeding Bird Populations of the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area, San Juan County, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LaGory, K.E.; Chang, Young-Soo; Chun, K.C.; Reeves, T.; Liebich, R.; Smith, K.

    2001-06-04

    This report, conducted from May through July 2000, addressed the potential effect of compressor noise on breeding birds in gas-production areas administered by the FFO, specifically in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The study was designed to quantify and characterize noise output from these compressors and to determine if compressor noise affected bird populations in adjacent habitat during the breeding season.

  9. Habitat structure and diversity influence the nesting success of an endangered large cavity-nesting bird, the Southern Ground-hornbill

    OpenAIRE

    Combrink, Leigh; Combrink, Hendrik J.; Botha, André J.; Downs, Colleen T.

    2017-01-01

    Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs) Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3...

  10. An annotated check list of the birds of Qwaqwa National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.H. De Swardt

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a check list of 179 bird species occuring in the Qwaqwa National Park which borders the eastern part of Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Data on the distribution, status, habitat preferences and breeding were obtained during several visits between December 1992 and March 1995. The following habitats were preferred: grassland, montane grassland, woodland, rocky hillsides, mountain slopes and riverine areas with Phragmites reedbeds. The conservation of waterbirds, raptors and other localised species such as Orangebreasted Rockjumper, Palecrowned Cisticola, Mountain Pipit and Gurney's Sugarbird is important as these species occur in specialised habitats.

  11. Changes in potential habitat of 147 North American breeding bird species in response to redistribution of trees and climate following predicted climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen N. Matthews; Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Matthew P. Peters

    2011-01-01

    Mounting evidence shows that organisms have already begun to respond to global climate change. Advances in our knowledge of how climate shapes species distributional patterns has helped us better understand the response of birds to climate change. However, the distribution of birds across the landscape is also driven by biotic and abiotic components, including habitat...

  12. Population Densities of Birds Breeding in Urbanized Habitats in the Grabiszyn District in the City of Wrocław

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Studies were carried out in 2010 by mean of simplified version of the mapping method. The study area (395 ha was located close to the city centre. It comprised a mosaic of urbanized habitats, with a clear dominance of green areas, such as parks (41.1 ha, gardens, cemeteries and tree clumps. A total of 48 breeding bird species were recorded in the whole study area. The most common (<25 pairs/100 ha were Passer domesticus, Passer montanus, Sturnus vulgaris, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Apus apus and Columba livia. Numerous (7-15 pairs/100 ha were also the following species: Columba palumbus, Turdus pilaris, Sylvia atricapilla, Serinus serinus, Turdus merula and Pica pica. Insectivorous birds were the most common birds constituting 63.3%, and granivorous -32.6% of all pairs recorded. Most birds nested in tree holes (39.3%, in/on buildings (30.2% and in trees/shrubs (25.6%. Distribution of breeding pairs of 23 bird species was presented on maps. Population trends for 17 species were documented. Rapid increase in numbers of Turdus pilaris, Corvus cornix and Phoenicurus phoenicurus and decrease of Pica pica were recorded.

  13. Putting density back into the habitat-quality equation: case study of an open-nesting forest bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérot, Aurore; Villard, Marc-André

    2009-12-01

    Ecological traps and other cases of apparently maladaptive habitat selection cast doubt on the relevance of density as an indicator of habitat quality. Nevertheless, the prevalence of these phenomena remains poorly known, and density may still reflect habitat quality in most systems. We examined the relationship between density and two other parameters of habitat quality in an open-nesting passerine species: the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla). We hypothesized that the average individual bird makes a good decision when selecting its breeding territory and that territory spacing reflects site productivity or predation risk. Therefore, we predicted that density would be positively correlated with productivity (number of young fledged per unit area). Because individual performance is sensitive to events partly determined by chance, such as nest predation, we further predicted density would be weakly correlated or uncorrelated with the proportion of territories fledging young. We collected data in 23 study sites (25 ha each), 16 of which were located in untreated mature northern hardwood forest and seven in stands partially harvested (treated) 1-7 years prior to the survey. Density explained most of the variability in productivity (R(2)= 0.73), and there was no apparent decoupling between density and productivity in treated plots. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between density and the proportion of territories fledging >or=1 young over the entire breeding season. These results suggest that density reflects habitat quality at the plot scale in this study system. To our knowledge this is one of the few studies testing the value of territory density as an indicator of habitat quality in an open-nesting bird species on the basis of a relatively large number of sizeable study plots.

  14. Field Testing Of An Expert Model: Can The Model Predict Habitat Potential For Saltmarsh Birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marshes are valuable resources, which provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood protection, fish nursery habitat, and nesting habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species. At the present time, due primarily to coastal development and sea level rise,...

  15. Importance of marginal habitats for grassland diversity: fallows and overgrown tall-grass steppe as key habitats of endangered ground-beetle Carabus hungaricus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokluda, Pavel; Hauck, David; Čížek, Lukáš

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 1 (2012), s. 27-36 ISSN 1752-458X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA AV ČR KJB600960705 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : blaps * Carpathian basin * continental grassland Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.937, year: 2012

  16. Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLaren, J.D.; Buler, J.J.; Schreckengost, T.; Smolinsky, J.A.; Boone, M.; van Loon, E.E.; Dawson, D.K.; Walters, E.L.

    With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne

  17. Bird list of San Bernardino Ranch in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melinda Cardenas-Garcia; Monica C. Olguin-Villa

    2013-01-01

    Interest and investigation of birds has been increasing over the last decades due to the loss of their habitats, and declination and fragmentation of their populations. San Bernardino Ranch is located in the desert grassland region of northeastern Sonora, México. Over the last decade, restoration efforts have tried to address the effects of long deteriorating economic...

  18. Potential role of frugivorous birds (Passeriformes on seed dispersal of six plant species in a restinga habitat, southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verônica Souza da Mota Gomes

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1 680 net-hrs and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis in the

  19. Design of forest bird monitoring for strategic habitat conservation on Kaua'i Island, Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos

    2011-01-01

    This report was commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The purpose was to develop a monitoring program for Kaua`i forest birds in the USFWS Strategic Habitat Conservation and adaptive management frameworks. Monitoring within those frameworks is a tool to assess resource responses to management and conservation actions, and through an iterative learning process improve our understanding of species recovery, effective management, and knowledge gaps. This report provides only the monitoring component of both frameworks, and we apply the monitoring program to the East Alaka`i Protective Fence Project.

  20. Contrasting patterns of survival and dispersal in multiple habitats reveal an ecological trap in a food-caching bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, D Ryan; Flockhart, D T Tyler; Strickland, Dan

    2013-11-01

    A comprehensive understanding of how natural and anthropogenic variation in habitat influences populations requires long-term information on how such variation affects survival and dispersal throughout the annual cycle. Gray jays Perisoreus canadensis are widespread boreal resident passerines that use cached food to survive over the winter and to begin breeding during the late winter. Using multistate capture-recapture analysis, we examined apparent survival and dispersal in relation to habitat quality in a gray jay population over 34 years (1977-2010). Prior evidence suggests that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of conifers on territories because of their superior ability to preserve cached food. Although neither adults (>1 year) nor juveniles (conifer territories, both age classes were less likely to leave high-conifer territories and, when they did move, were more likely to disperse to high-conifer territories. In contrast, survival rates were lower on territories that were adjacent to a major highway compared to territories that did not border the highway but there was no evidence for directional dispersal towards or away from highway territories. Our results support the notion that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of coniferous trees on territories and provide the first evidence that high-mortality highway habitats can act as an equal-preference ecological trap for birds. Reproductive success, as shown in a previous study, but not survival, is sensitive to natural variation in habitat quality, suggesting that gray jays, despite living in harsh winter conditions, likely favor the allocation of limited resources towards self-maintenance over reproduction.

  1. Altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness and density in relation to climate, habitat heterogeneity, and migration influence in a temperate montane forest (South Korea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin-Yong; Lee, Sanghun; Shin, Man-Seok; Lee, Chang-Hoon; Seo, Changwan; Eo, Soo Hyung

    2018-01-01

    Altitudinal patterns in the population ecology of mountain bird species are useful for predicting species occurrence and behavior. Numerous hypotheses about the complex interactions among environmental factors have been proposed; however, these still remain controversial. This study aimed to identify the altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness or density and to test the hypotheses that climate, habitat heterogeneity (horizontal and vertical), and heterospecific attraction in a temperate forest, South Korea. We conducted a field survey of 142 plots at altitudes between 200 and 1,400 m a.s.l in the breeding season. A total of 2,771 individuals from 53 breeding bird species were recorded. Altitudinal patterns of species richness and density showed a hump-shaped pattern, indicating that the highest richness and density could be observed at moderate altitudes. Models constructed with 13 combinations of six variables demonstrated that species richness was positively correlated with vertical and horizontal habitat heterogeneity. Density was positively correlated with vertical, but not horizontal habitat heterogeneity, and negatively correlated with migratory bird ratio. No significant relationships were found between spring temperature and species richness or density. Therefore, the observed patterns in species richness support the hypothesis that habitat heterogeneity, rather than climate, is the main driver of species richness. Also, neither habitat heterogeneity nor climate hypotheses fully explains the observed patterns in density. However, vertical habitat heterogeneity does likely help explain observed patterns in density. The heterospecific attraction hypothesis did not apply to the distribution of birds along the altitudinal gradient. Appropriate management of vertical habitat heterogeneity, such as vegetation cover, should be maintained for the conservation of bird diversity in this area.

  2. The influence of habitat structure on bird species composition in lowland malaysian rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd

    2012-05-01

    Bird surveys were conducted in the Bukit Kepala Gajah limestone area in Lenggong, Perak from July 2010 to January 2011. The study area was divided into three zones: forest edge, forest intermediate and forest interior. A point-count distance sampling method was used in the bird surveys. The study recorded 7789 detections, representing 100 bird species belonging to 28 families. Pycnonotidae, Timaliidae and Nectariniidae were the dominant families overall and showed the highest number of observations recorded in the study area whereas Motacillidae showed the fewest observations. The bird species were grouped into three feeding guilds: insectivores, frugivores and others (omnivores, carnivores, nectarivores and granivores). The species richness of insectivorous birds differed significantly among the forest zones sampled (Kruskal-Wallis: α=0.05, H=10.979, d.f.=2, p=0.004), with more insectivorous birds occurring in the forest interior. No significant differences were found among the zones in the species richness of either the frugivore guild or the composite others guild.

  3. Migratory bird habitat in relation to tile drainage and poorly drained hydrologic soil groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastner, Brandi; Christensen, Victoria G.; Williamson, Tanja N.; Sanocki, Chris A.

    2016-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is home to more than 50% of the migratory waterfowl in North America. Although the PPR provides an abundance of temporary and permanent wetlands for nesting and feeding, increases in commodity prices and agricultural drainage practices have led to a trend of wetland drainage. The Northern Shoveler is a migratory dabbling duck species that uses wetland habitats and cultivated croplands in the PPR. Richland County in North Dakota and Roberts County in South Dakota have an abundance of wetlands and croplands and were chosen as the study areas for this research to assess the wetland size and cultivated cropland in relation to hydrologic soil groups for the Northern Shoveler habitat. This study used geographic information system data to analyze Northern Shoveler habitats in association with Natural Resource Conservation Service soil data. Habitats, which are spatially associated with certain hydrologic soil groups, may be at risk of artificial drainage installations because of their proximity to cultivated croplands and soil lacking in natural drainage that may become wet or inundated. Findings indicate that most wetlands that are part of Northern Shoveler habitats were within or adjacent to cultivated croplands. The results also revealed soil hydrologic groups with high runoff potential and low water transmission rates account for most of the soil within the Northern Shoveler‘s wetland and cropland habitats. Habitats near agriculture with high runoff potential are likely to be drained and this has the potential of reducing Northern Shoveler habitat.

  4. Habitat preferences of birds in a montane forest mosaic in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Endemic species are most closely dependent on continuous forest cover. However, some montane species did not show any clear habitat associations and thus can be viewed as local habitat generalists. This study shows that many restricted-range species (including endangered endemics) are able to live in fragmented ...

  5. Habitat Distribution of Birds Wintering in Central Andros, The Bahamas: Implications for Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    DAVE CURRIE; JOSEPH M. WUNDERLE JR.; DAVID N. EWERT; MATTHEW R. ANDERSON; ANCILLENO DAVIS; JASMINE TURNER

    2005-01-01

    We studied winter avian distribution in three representative pine-dominated habitats and three broadleaf habitats in an area recently designated as a National Park on Andros Island, The Bahamas, 1-23 February 2002. During 180 five-minute point counts, 1731 individuals were detected (1427 permanent residents and 304 winter residents) representing 51 species (29...

  6. Sound settlement: noise surpasses land cover in explaining breeding habitat selection of secondary cavity-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D

    2017-01-01

    Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Habitat fragmentation reduces grassland connectivity for both short-distance and long-distance wind-dispersed forbs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soons, M.B.; Messelink, J.H.; Jongejans, E.; Heil, G.W.

    2005-01-01

    1 Although habitat loss and fragmentation are assumed to threaten the regional survival of plant species, their effects on regional species dynamics via seed dispersal and colonization have rarely been quantified. 2 We assessed the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation on the connectivity, and

  8. Predation drives nesting success in moist highland grasslands: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...

  9. The effect of local and landscape-level characteristics on the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging season in western Massachusetts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle A Labbe

    Full Text Available Many species of mature forest-nesting birds ("forest birds" undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown. Landscape composition can have a strong influence on the abundance and productivity of forest birds during the nesting period, and could therefore affect the number of forest birds in the landscape available to colonize early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. Therefore, the inclusion of landscape characteristics should increase the explanatory power of models of forest bird abundance in early-successional habitat patches during the post-fledging period. We examined forest bird abundance and body condition in relation to landscape and habitat characteristics of 15 early-successional sites during the post-fledging season in Massachusetts. The abundance of forest birds was influenced by within-patch habitat characteristics, however the explanatory power of these models was significantly increased by the inclusion of landscape fragmentation and the abundance of forest birds in adjacent forest during the nesting period for some species and age groups. Our findings show that including factors beyond the patch scale can explain additional variation in the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. We conclude that landscape composition should be considered when siting early-successional habitat to maximize its

  10. Abandoned military training sites are an overlooked refuge for at-risk open habitat bird species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reif, J.; Marhoul, P.; Čížek, O.; Konvička, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 14 (2011), s. 3645-3662 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic(CZ) SP/2D3/153/08 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : abundance * bird * disturbance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.238, year: 2011

  11. Relative importance of current and past landscape structure and local habitat conditions for plant species richness in dry grassland-like forest openings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    In fragmented landscapes, plant species richness may depend not only on local habitat conditions but also on landscape structure. In addition, both present and past landscape structure may be important for species richness. There are, however, only a few studies that have investigated the relative importance of all of these factors. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of current and past landscape structures and habitat conditions on species richness at dry grassland-like forest openings in a forested landscape and to assess their relative importance for species richness. We analyzed information on past and present landscape structures using aerial photographs from 1938, 1973, 1988, 2000 and 2007. We calculated the area of each locality and its isolation in the present and in the past and the continuity of localities in GIS. At each locality, we recorded all vascular plant species (296 species in 110 forest openings) and information on abiotic conditions of the localities. We found that the current species richness of the forest openings was significantly determined by local habitat conditions as well as by landscape structure in the present and in the past. The highest species richness was observed on larger and more heterogeneous localities with rocks and shallow soils, which were already large and well connected to other localities in 1938. The changes in the landscape structure in the past can thus have strong effects on current species richness. Future studies attempting to understand determinants of species diversity in fragmented landscapes should also include data on past landscape structure, as it may in fact be more important than the present structure.

  12. Habitat structure and diversity influence the nesting success of an endangered large cavity-nesting bird, the Southern Ground-hornbill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Combrink

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3 km surrounding the nest site. Identifying which factors affect nesting success will allow for targeted management efforts to ensure the long-term survival of SGHs both within and outside of protected areas. Habitat structure and diversity of the vegetation surrounding the nest were the most influential factors on SGH nesting success. SGHs require open grassy areas for foraging and areas with large trees for nesting. Savanna habitat drivers such as elephants and fire should be managed to ensure that sufficient large trees are able to establish in the landscape and to control for bush encroachment. This is especially important in areas earmarked for SGH reintroductions. Nest sites of SGHs should be monitored to mitigate any structural changes in the habitat surrounding the nests. Nests should be modified or artificial nest sites provided, where nests have been damaged or lost, to ensure the continued presence of these birds in African savannas. Conservation implications: Habitat structure and diversity surrounding Southern Groundhornbill nests has a significant impact on their nesting success. This highlights the importance of monitoring vegetation change in savanna habitats where they occur. Management of savanna areas should take factors that influence bush encroachment, such as fire and elephants, into account to ensure the long-term persistence of these birds.

  13. The habitat and associated bird assemblages of the Grey-headed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Grey-headed Parrot Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus has a widespread distribution in sub-Saharan Africa yet is uncommon in its natural range. In some areas seasonal movements are recorded. This study, conducted in north-eastern South Africa, showed that habitat use varied seasonally between two sites, Levubu ...

  14. The Importance and Future Condition of Western Riparian Ecosystems as Migratory Bird Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan K. Skagen; Rob Hazlewood; Michael L. Scott

    2005-01-01

    Riparian forests have long been considered important habitats for breeding western landbirds, and growing evidence reinforces their importance during the migratory period as well. Extensive modification of natural flow regimes, grazing, and forest clearing along many rivers in the western U.S. have led to loss and simplification of native riparian forests and to...

  15. Winter density and habitat preferences of three declining granivorous farmland birds: The importance of the keeping of poultry and dairy farms

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Havlíček, J.; Riegert, J.; Nešpor, M.; Fuchs, R.; Kipson, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 1 (2015), s. 10-16 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Central Europe * Dairy farms * Granivorous birds * Habitat preferences * Poultry keeping * Winter period Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.220, year: 2015

  16. The breeding biology, nest success, habitat and behavior of the endangered Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus (Aves: Icteridae, at an Important Bird Area (IBA in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciane R. da Silva Mohr

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus (Gmelin, 1788, is a globally vulnerable icterid endemic to grasslands and open areas, and a priority species for research and conservation programs. This contribution provides information on the population size, habitat, behavior, breeding biology and nest success of X. flavus in two conservation units (CUs in Viamão, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: the Environmental Protection Area Banhado Grande, and the Wildlife Refuge Banhado dos Pachecos, classified as an “Important Bird Area”. Searches for X. flavus were carried out mainly in open areas, the type of habitat favored by the species. Outside the breeding season individual behavior was recorded by the ad libitum method; during the breeding season, selected X. flavus pairs were observed following the sequence sampling method. The research areas were visited once a month, totaling approximately 530 hours of observations (September 2014 to June 2016 over 84 days, which included two breeding seasons. The species was observed across all months (not necessarily within the same year and several X. flavus flocks were encountered, some with more than one hundred individuals (range = 2-137. Additionally, the behavior and feeding aspects, habitat use and breeding information on X. flavus were recorded. Two breeding colonies were found, and eleven nests were monitored. The estimated nesting success was 10% in Colony 1, but zero in Colony 2, where all eggs and nestlings were predated. Saffron-cowled Blackbirds were recorded in mixed flocks, mostly with Pseudoleistes guirahuro (Vieillot, 1819, P. virescens (Vieillot, 1819 and Xolmis dominicanus (Vieillot, 1823, the last also a globally endangered species. The collected information highlights the importance of CUs for the maintenance of X. flavus populations in the region. Maintenance of proper areas for feeding and breeding is necessary and urgent. Information from current research is being

  17. Migrating birds’ use of stopover habitat in the southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Diehl, R.H.; Felix, R.K.

    2012-01-01

    In the arid Southwest, migratory birds are known to use riparian stopover habitats; we know less about how migrants use other habitat types during migratory stopover. Using radar data and satellite land-cover data, we determined the habitats with which birds are associated during migration stopover. Bird densities differed significantly by habitat type at all sites in at least one season. In parts of Arizona and New Mexico upland forest supported high densities of migrants, especially in fall. Developed habitat, in areas with little upland forest, also supported high densities of migrants. Scrub/shrub and grassland habitats supported low to intermediate densities, but because these habitat types dominate the Southwestern landscape, they may provide stopover habitat for larger numbers of migratory birds than previously recognized. These results are complicated by continuing challenges related to target identity (i.e., distinguishing among birds, arthropods and bats). Our results suggest that it is too simplistic to (1) consider the arid West as a largely inhospitable landscape in which there are only relatively small oases of habitat that provide the resources needed by all migrants, (2) think of western riparian and upland forests as supporting the majority of migrants in all cases, and (3) consider a particular habitat unimportant for stopover solely on the basis of low densities of migrants.

  18. Scale-dependent habitat associations of a rapidly declining farmland predator, the Little Owl Athene noctua, in contrasting agricultural landscapes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Chrenková, M.; Dobrý, M.; Kipson, Marina; Grill, S.; Radovan, V.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 224, May (2016), s. 56-66 ISSN 0167-8809 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Farmland birds * Habitat associations * Spatial scales * Conservation * Grasslands * Farm buildings Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.099, year: 2016

  19. Habitat fragmentation reduces nest survival in an Afrotropical bird community in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R

    2011-07-12

    Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.

  20. Local habitat disturbance increases bird nest predation in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigues, V. B.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on nest predation in Brazilian Atlantic forest. Artificial nests were distributed in fragments with distinct degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. We found a higher proportion of egg predation on the ground and in the fragments classified as ‘high’ and ‘medium’ disturbance than in the fragments classified as ‘low’ degree of disturbance. The higher egg predation is probably linked to low structural complexity of vegetation and high accessibility of these areas to opportunistic predators. We suggest that forest fragments with high vegetation complexity and low human activity should be preserved in order to maintain the biodiversity of bird species.

  1. Trade-offs between pasture production and farmland bird conservation: exploration of options using a dynamic farm model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatier, R; Teillard, F; Rossing, W A H; Doyen, L; Tichit, M

    2015-05-01

    In European grassland landscapes, grazing and mowing play a key role for the maintenance of high-quality habitats that host important bird populations. As grasslands are also key resources for cattle feeding, there is a need to develop management strategies that achieve the double objective of production and biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to use a modelling approach to generate recognisable patterns of bird dynamics in farms composed of different land use proportions, and to compare their production and ecological dimensions. We developed a dynamic model, which linked grassland management to bird population dynamics at the field and farm levels. The model was parameterised for two types of suckling farms corresponding to contrasting levels of grassland intensification and for two bird species of high conservation value. A viability algorithm was used to define and assess viable management strategies for production and ecological performance so as to draw the shape of the relationship between both types of performances for the two types of farms. Our results indicated that, at the farm level, there was a farming system effect with a negative and non-linear relationship linking performance. Improving bird population maintenance was less costly in extensive farms compared with intensive farms. At the field level, the model predicted the timing and intensity of land use, maximising either production or ecological performance. The results suggested that multi-objective grassland management would benefit from public policies that consider levels of organisation higher than the field level, such as the farm or the landscape.

  2. Breeding bird response to juniper woodland expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenstock, Steven S.; van Riper, Charles

    2001-01-01

    In recent times, pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have expanded into large portions of the Southwest historically occupied by grassland vegetation. From 1997-1998, we studied responses of breeding birds to one-seed juniper (J. monosperma) woodland expansion at 2 grassland study areas in northern Arizona. We sampled breeding birds in 3 successional stages along a grassland-woodland gradient: un-invaded grassland, grassland undergoing early stages of juniper establishment, and developing woodland. Species composition varied greatly among successional stages and was most different between endpoints of the gradient. Ground-nesting grassland species predominated in uninvaded grassland but declined dramatically as tree density increased. Tree- and cavity-nesting species increased with tree density and were most abundant in developing woodland. Restoration of juniper-invaded grasslands will benefit grassland-obligate birds and other wildlife.

  3. The roles of mosquito and bird communities on the prevalence of West Nile virus in urban wetland and residential habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brian J.; Munafo, Kristin; Shappell, Laura; Tsipoura, Nellie; Robson, Mark; Ehrenfeld, Joan; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the impacts of urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments on the transmission dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) within the state of New Jersey (USA). A working hypothesis was that urban wetlands decrease the local prevalence of WNV through the dilution effect from increased bird diversity, and through relative reductions in the numbers of competent avian host and mosquito species commonly associated with WNV. Surveys of mosquito and bird communities were undertaken at six urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments over two seasons (2009, 2010). The community compositions of both avian and mosquito species differed significantly across habitats, and over relatively short geographical distances. Residential areas contained significantly higher proportions of WNV-competent mosquito species (31.25±5.3 %; e.g. Culex pipiens and Culex restuans), and WNV-competent avian host species (62.8±2.3 %, e.g. House Sparrow and American Robin) when compared to adjacent urban wetlands (13.5±2.1 %; 35.4±2.1 % respectively). Correspondingly, WNV infection rates within local Culex spp. populations indicate that WNV was more prevalent within residential areas (28.53/1000) compared to wetlands (16.77/1000). Large urban wetlands (>100 ha) produced significantly lower weekly WNV infection rates in local Culex spp. (6.67±2.84/1000) compared to small (urban wetlands contained significantly more species than small wetland patches. These results confirm that the community compositions of mosquito and avian hosts are important drivers in WNV infections, and that the ecological conditions that favor transmission are more strongly associated with urban residential environments than with adjacent urban wetlands. PMID:25484570

  4. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  5. Oak Ridge Reservation Bird Records and Population Trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, W. K. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, N. R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, M. C. [CDM Smith (United States); Haines, A. M. [Xcel Engineering, Inc.(United States); Evans, J. W. [Tennessee WIldlife Resources Agency (WRA), Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, R. T. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950-2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species--approximately 10% of the total number of species observed--have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.

  6. Oak Ridge Reservation Bird Records and Population Trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, W. Kelly [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, Neil R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, Murray [CDM Smith, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States); Haines, Angelina [Xcel Engineering, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Evans, James W. [Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, Robert Trent [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-11-01

    Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950 2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species approximately 10% of the total number of species observed have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.

  7. Birds of Sabaragamuwa University campus, Buttala, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.D. Surasinghe

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a bird survey in the Sabaragamuwa University premises in southeastern Sri Lanka between 2001 and 2004. We recorded 145 bird species, representing 17 orders and 51 families from the campus. The birdlife included Red-faced Malkoha, a globally Vulnerable species and four Near Threatened taxa. The university premises suffer from severe habitat alteration largely owing to fire, filling-up of aquatic habitats, resource over-extraction, improper waste management, invasion by exotic species and livestock grazing. Several conservation measures, including habitat management strategies such as restoration of riparian vegetation, and wetlands, increasing plant diversity in home gardens and prevention of secondary successions in grasslands are recommended to protect the campus environment and to conserve its avifaunal diversity.

  8. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  9. Forest bird monitoring protocol for strategic habitat conservation and endangered species management on O'ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Island of O'ahu, Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Banko, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    This report describes the results of a pilot forest bird survey and a consequent forest bird monitoring protocol that was developed for the O'ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, O'ahu Island, Hawai'i. The pilot survey was conducted to inform aspects of the monitoring protocol and to provide a baseline with which to compare future surveys on the Refuge. The protocol was developed in an adaptive management framework to track bird distribution and abundance and to meet the strategic habitat conservation requirements of the Refuge. Funding for this research was provided through a Science Support Partnership grant sponsored jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

  10. Mating system and early viability resistance to habitat fragmentation in a bird-pollinated eucalypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breed, M F; Ottewell, K M; Gardner, M G; Marklund, M H K; Stead, M G; Harris, J B C; Lowe, A J

    2015-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation has been shown to disrupt ecosystem processes such as plant-pollinator mutualisms. Consequently, mating patterns in remnant tree populations are expected to shift towards increased inbreeding and reduced pollen diversity, with fitness consequences for future generations. However, mating patterns and phenotypic assessments of open-pollinated progeny have rarely been combined in a single study. Here, we collected seeds from 37 Eucalyptus incrassata trees from contrasting stand densities following recent clearance in a single South Australian population (intact woodland=12.6 trees ha−1; isolated pasture=1.7 trees ha−1; population area=10 km2). 649 progeny from these trees were genotyped at eight microsatellite loci. We estimated genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, indirect contemporary pollen flow and mating patterns for adults older than the clearance events and open-pollinated progeny sired post-clearance. A proxy of early stage progeny viability was assessed in a common garden experiment. Density had no impact on mating patterns, adult and progeny genetic diversity or progeny growth, but was associated with increased mean pollen dispersal. Weak spatial genetic structure among adults suggests high historical gene flow. We observed preliminary evidence for inbreeding depression related to stress caused by fungal infection, but which was not associated with density. Higher observed heterozygosities in adults compared with progeny may relate to weak selection on progeny and lifetime-accumulated mortality of inbred adults. E. incrassata appears to be resistant to the negative mating pattern and fitness changes expected within fragmented landscapes. This pattern is likely explained by strong outcrossing and regular long-distance pollen flow. PMID:23188172

  11. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  12. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  13. The Effect of Local and Landscape-Level Characteristics on the Abundance of Forest Birds in Early-Successional Habitats during the Post-Fledging Season in Western Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labbe, Michelle A.; King, David I.

    2014-01-01

    Many species of mature forest-nesting birds (“forest birds”) undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown. Landscape composition can have a strong influence on the abundance and productivity of forest birds during the nesting period, and could therefore affect the number of forest birds in the landscape available to colonize early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. Therefore, the inclusion of landscape characteristics should increase the explanatory power of models of forest bird abundance in early-successional habitat patches during the post-fledging period. We examined forest bird abundance and body condition in relation to landscape and habitat characteristics of 15 early-successional sites during the post-fledging season in Massachusetts. The abundance of forest birds was influenced by within-patch habitat characteristics, however the explanatory power of these models was significantly increased by the inclusion of landscape fragmentation and the abundance of forest birds in adjacent forest during the nesting period for some species and age groups. Our findings show that including factors beyond the patch scale can explain additional variation in the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. We conclude that landscape composition should be considered when siting early-successional habitat to maximize its benefit to

  14. Microbial abundance on the eggs of a passerine bird and related fitness consequences between urban and rural habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sang-Im; Lee, Hyunna; Jablonski, Piotr G; Choe, Jae Chun; Husby, Magne

    2017-01-01

    Urban environments present novel and challenging habitats to wildlife. In addition to well-known difference in abiotic factors between rural and urban environments, the biotic environment, including microbial fauna, may also differ significantly. In this study, we aimed to compare the change in microbial abundance on eggshells during incubation between urban and rural populations of a passerine bird, the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica), and examine the consequences of any differences in microbial abundances in terms of hatching success and nestling survival. Using real-time PCR, we quantified the abundances of total bacteria, Escherichia coli/Shigella spp., surfactin-producing Bacillus spp. and Candida albicans on the eggshells of magpies. We found that urban magpie eggs harboured greater abundances of E. coli/Shigella spp. and C. albicans before incubation than rural magpie eggs. During incubation, there was an increase in the total bacterial load, but a decrease in C. albicans on urban eggs relative to rural eggs. Rural eggs showed a greater increase in E. coli/Shigella spp. relative to their urban counterpart. Hatching success of the brood was generally lower in urban than rural population. Nestling survival was differentially related with the eggshell microbial abundance between urban and rural populations, which was speculated to be the result of the difference in the strength of the interaction among the microbes. This is the first demonstration that avian clutches in urban and rural populations differ in eggshell microbial abundance, which can be further related to the difference in hatching success and nestling survival in these two types of environments. We suggest that future studies on the eggshell microbes should investigate the interaction among the microbes, because the incubation and/or environmental factors such as urbanization or climate condition can influence the dynamic interactions among the microbes on the eggshells which can further determine the

  15. Conceptual ecological model for management of breeding shrubland birds in the Mid-Atlantic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterjohn, Bruce G.

    2006-01-01

    While grassland birds have become the focus of increased conservation activities, the status of birds occupying shrubland habitats has received relatively little attention (Hunter et al. 2001). Yet, in eastern North America, shrubland birds exhibited consistent population declines during the past 40 years, based on data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (Pardieck and Sauer 2001). These population declines primarily reflect large-scale changes in land use patterns during the previous century (Lorimer 2001). Large areas of marginal farmland were abandoned and underwent secondary succession during the first half of the twentieth century, producing abundant successional habitats favored by shrubland birds. As these habitats matured, combined with strict fire-suppression policies (Hunter et al. 2001), shrublands succeeded into mature forests, and shrubland bird communities were replaced by woodland birds (Irland 1982; Askins 1993). For example, while nearly 29% of New England forests were classified as sapling stage in 1950, only 8% remained at that stage in the 1980s (Askins 1993). The trend towards forest maturation and loss of shrubland habitats continues, yet concerted conservation activities have not been directed to benefit declining shrubland bird populations. The National Park Service (NPS) could contribute to shrubland bird conservation in the Mid- Atlantic Region. The NPS maintains a number of historic sites and former battlefields managed for their cultural significance but also support wildlife populations. Many of these “cultural parks” maintain open landscapes, recreating land use patterns existing at the times of the historical events. While these open landscapes are frequently managed grasslands, some parks also support successional habitats that could be managed to benefit shrubland birds. In 2005, the NPS initiated a project exploring the potential of “cultural parks” to support significant breeding grassland and shrubland bird

  16. Relative Importance of Current and Past Landscape Structure and Local Habitat Conditions for Plant Species Richness in Dry Grassland-Like Forest Openings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, I.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-15 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : landscape structure * species richness * dry grassland Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2014

  17. Partners in flight bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.

    2001-01-01

    oak savannah grasslands already have been converted to agriculture. The conversion to cropland may have benefitted some grassland birds, and forest birds still persist. Rates of cowbird parasitism and nest predation in this heavily fragmented region, however, are extremely high and it is possible that only those bird communities in the few remaining expanses of contiguous habitat are self-sustaining. Forest habitat needs to be retained or restored so that a significant number of patches of sufficient size and quality each support a healthy population of Cerulean Warblers. It is assumed that each of these patches will then support the full range of forest birds. The total area of savannah habitat also should be increased, although the need for large blocks is not as apparent. Those few areas of grassland that still exist should be retained.

  18. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  19. Habitat Mapping and Change Assessment of Coastal Environments: An Examination of WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS Satellite Imagery and Airborne LiDAR for Mapping Barrier Island Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. McCarthy

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Habitat mapping can be accomplished using many techniques and types of data. There are pros and cons for each technique and dataset, therefore, the goal of this project was to investigate the capabilities of new satellite sensor technology and to assess map accuracy for a variety of image classification techniques based on hundreds of field-work sites. The study area was Masonboro Island, an undeveloped area in coastal North Carolina, USA. Using the best map results, a habitat change assessment was conducted between 2002 and 2010. WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS satellite sensors were tested using unsupervised and supervised methods using a variety of spectral band combinations. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR elevation and texture data pan-sharpening, and spatial filtering were also tested. In total, 200 maps were generated and results indicated that WorldView-2 was consistently more accurate than QuickBird and IKONOS. Supervised maps were more accurate than unsupervised in 80% of the maps. Pan-sharpening the images did not consistently improve map accuracy but using a majority filter generally increased map accuracy. During the relatively short eight-year period, 20% of the coastal study area changed with intertidal marsh experiencing the most change. Smaller habitat classes changed substantially as well. For example, 84% of upland scrub-shrub experienced change. These results document the dynamic nature of coastal habitats, validate the use of the relatively new Worldview-2 sensor, and may be used to guide future coastal habitat mapping.

  20. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  1. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Foraging ecology and spatial behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in a wet grassland ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meisner, Katrine; Sunde, Peter; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann

    2014-01-01

    We investigated diet composition, habitat selection and spatial behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to the availability of wader nests in a coastal polder area in southwest Denmark. The predatory role of the red fox in wet grassland ecosystems has profound implications...... for conservation status of declining populations of grassland breeding waders. However, few studies have focussed on the foraging ecology and behaviour of the red fox in these landscapes. Faecal analyses revealed that fox diet consisted of birds (43 % of prey remains / 32 % of biomass), rodents (39 % / 21...... %), sheep (mainly as carrion, 14 % / 41 %) and lagomorphs (4 % / 7 %). Charadriiformes (including waders) comprised 3–12 % of prey remains throughout the year. Telemetry data and spotlight counts indicated that foxes did not select areas with high densities of breeding waders, suggesting that foxes did...

  3. Microhabitat selection by three common bird species of montane farmlands in Northern Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiakiris, Rigas; Stara, Kalliopi; Pantis, John; Sgardelis, Stefanos

    2009-11-01

    Common farmland birds are declining throughout Europe; however, marginal farmlands that escaped intensification or land abandonment remain a haven for farmland species in some Mediterranean mountains. The purpose of this study is to identify the most important anthropogenic microhabitat characteristics for Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra) and Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) in three such areas within the newly established Northern Pindos National Park. We compare land use structural and physiognomic characteristics of the habitat within 133 plots containing birds paired with randomly selected "non-bird" plots. Using logistic regression and classification-tree models we identify the specific habitat requirements for each of the three birds. The three species show a preference for agricultural mosaics dominated by rangelands with scattered shrub or short trees mixed with arable land. Areas with dikes and dirt roads are preferred by all three species, while the presence of fences and periodically burned bushes and hedges are of particular importance for Red-Backed Shrike. Across the gradient of vegetation density and height, M. calandra is mostly found in grasslands with few dwarf shrubs and short trees, S. communis in places with more dense and tall vegetation of shrub, trees and hedges, and L. collurio, being a typical bird of ecotones, occurs in both habitats and in intermediate situations. In all cases those requirements are associated with habitat features maintained either directly or indirectly by the traditional agricultural activities in the area and particularly by the long established extensive controlled grazing that prevent shrub expansion.

  4. 76 FR 9590 - Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Draft Land-Based Wind Energy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-18

    ... Management Handbook. Noise: The Committee Recommendations do not include a discussion of noise impacts to... authorized. Increased energy demands and the nationwide goal to increase energy production from renewable... sensitive to habitat fragmentation.'' Adaptive Management: The Committee Recommendations used Adaptive...

  5. Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Crimmins, Shawn M.; Pearce, Jennie

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale planning for the conservation of species is often hindered by a poor understanding of factors limiting populations. In regions with declining wildlife populations, it is critical that objective metrics of conservation success are developed to ensure that conservation actions achieve desired results. Using spatially explicit estimates of bird abundance, we evaluated several management alternatives for conserving bird populations in the Prairie Hardwood Transition of the United States. We designed landscapes conserving species at 50% of their current predicted abundance as well as landscapes attempting to achieve species population targets (which often required the doubling of current abundance). Conserving species at reduced (half of current) abundance led to few conservation conflicts. However, because of extensive modification of the landscape to suit human use, strategies for achieving regional population targets for forest bird species would be difficult under even ideal circumstances, and even more so if maintenance of grassland bird populations is also desired. Our results indicated that large-scale restoration of agricultural lands to native grassland and forest habitats may be the most productive conservation action for increasing bird population sizes but the level of landscape transition required to approach target bird population sizes may be societally unacceptable.

  6. Changes in habitat use at rainforest edges through succession: A case study of understory birds in the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luke L. Powell; Gustavo Zurita; Jared D.  Wolfe; Erik I.  Johnson; Philip C  Stouffer

    2015-01-01

    Primary tropical rain forests are being rapidly perforated with new edges via roads, logging, and pastures, and vast areas of secondary forest accumulate following abandonment of agricultural lands. To determine how insectivorous Amazonian understory birds respond to edges between primary rain forest and three age classes of secondary forest, we radio-tracked two...

  7. The need for future wetland bird studies: scales of habitat use as input for ecological restoration and spatial water management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Platteeuw, M.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Eerden, van M.R.

    2010-01-01

    All over Europe, wetlands have decreased in size, lost their original dynamics and became fragmented as the consequence of an ever increasing human land use. These processes have resulted in losses of nature values, among which declines in marshland bird populations. Ecological restoration of

  8. Animal-habitat relationships in the Knysna Forest, South Africa: discrimination between forest types by birds and invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koen, J H; Crowe, T M

    1987-06-01

    Effects of forest plant species composition and physiognomy on bird and invertebrate communities were investigated in three discrete, relatively undisturbed forest types along a dry-wet soil moisture gradient. Using discriminant function analysis, a 100% floristic and a 78% vegetation structural discrimination were obtained between the three forest types. However, the bird communities of these different forest types were very similar in species composition, and had much lower densities than those normally encountered in other, superficially similar forests. Although an 81% discrimination between forest types was attained through analysis of ground surface invertebrates, measures of litter and aerial invertebrate abundance were also of limited use as discriminators. Historical and biogeographic factors, as well as the low nutritional levels in the soil and vegetation may be the causes of low bird and invertebrate density and diversity. It is concluded that floristics and vegetation structure have, at best, a minor influence on bird community structure, and possibly also on invertebrate community structure in the Knysna Forest.

  9. Bird communities of contrasting semi-natural habitats of Lac bay, Bonaire, during the fall migration season, 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debrot, A.O.; Bemmelen, van R.S.A.; Ligon, J.

    2013-01-01

    The mangrove and seagrass lagoon of Lac Bay on Bonaire covers an area of roughly 700 ha. It is home to endangered green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, and the Caribbean queen conch, Strombus gigas, and is a roosting and breeding area for several birds. Based on its nature values this 7 km2 bay has

  10. Analysis of in situ water velocity distributions in the lowland river floodplain covered by grassland and reed marsh habitats - a case study of the bypass channel of Warta River (Western Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laks Ireneusz

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of in situ measurements of velocity distribution in the floodplain of the lowland river has been carried out. The survey area was located on a bypass channel of the Warta River (West of Poland which is filled with water only in case of flood waves. The floodplain is covered by grassland and reed marsh habitats. The velocity measurements were performed with an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP in a cross-section with a bed reinforced with concrete slabs. The measured velocities have reflected the differentiated impact of various vegetation types on the loss of water flow energy. The statistical analyses have proven a relationship between the local velocities and the type of plant communities.

  11. Balancing habitat delivery for breeding marsh birds and nonbreeding waterfowl: An integrated waterbird management and monitoring approach at Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loges, Brian W.; Lyons, James E.; Tavernia, Brian G.

    2017-08-23

    The Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge (CCNWR) in the Mississippi River flood plain of eastern Missouri provides high quality emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat benefitting both nesting marsh birds and migrating waterfowl. Staff of CCNWR manipulate water levels and vegetation in the 17 units of the CCNWR to provide conditions favorable to these two important guilds. Although both guilds include focal species at multiple planning levels and complement objectives to provide a diversity of wetland community types and water regimes, additional decision support is needed for choosing how much emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat should be provided through annual management actions.To develop decision guidance for balanced delivery of high-energy waterfowl habitat and breeding marsh bird habitat, two measureable management objectives were identified: nonbreeding Anas Linnaeus (dabbling duck) use-days and Rallus elegans (king rail) occupancy of managed units. Three different composite management actions were identified to achieve these objectives. Each composite management action is a unique combination of growing season water regime and soil disturbance. The three composite management actions are intense moist-soil management (moist-soil), intermediate moist-soil (intermediate), and perennial management, which idles soils disturbance (perennial). The two management objectives and three management options were used in a multi-criteria decision analysis to indicate resource allocations and inform annual decision making. Outcomes of the composite management actions were predicted in two ways and multi-criteria decision analysis was used with each set of predictions. First, outcomes were predicted using expert-elicitation techniques and a panel of subject matter experts. Second, empirical data from the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Initiative collected between 2010 and 2013 were used; where data were lacking, expert judgment was used. Also, a

  12. Impact assessment of ionising radiation on wildlife: meeting the requirements of the EU birds and habitat directives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copplestone, D.; Wood, M.D.; Bielby, S.; Jones, S.R.; Vives, J.; Beresford, N.A.; Zinger, I.

    2004-01-01

    In the UK, research funded by the Environment Agency/English Nature has provided a tool for calculating doses received by biota in coastal, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The approach uses the reference organism concept where the organism of interest (feature organism) is equated to a particular reference organism (based on its physical geometry and ecology). The exposure of the reference organism, and consequently the feature organism, to different radionuclides and dose rates can be assessed using a spreadsheet-based mathematical tool. This assessment tool was developed in 2001 and provided an internationally recognised starting point from which more refined assessment tools could develop. As the need for conducting specific assessments under the UK Habitat Regulations became apparent, it was recognised that some targeted refinement of the assessment tool was required. One of the major problems with the tool related to a lack of species-specific data and a lack of information on certain radionuclides appearing in discharges that may be impacting on sites/species to be protected. A second research and development project was therefore undertaken to reduce the uncertainties associated with the assessment tool by collating additional species-specific data, developing a mathematical system for ensuring that the most appropriate reference organism was selected and extending the range of radionuclides included in the assessment. This specific expansion to the assessment tool was directed towards ensuring that species at Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)) were adequately protected. The species targeted (feature species) for this assessment were species protected under the EC Habitats Directive and those that are characteristic of habitats protected under the Directive. The paper will show how typical dimensions of each feature species are collated and each feature species mathematically aligned with the

  13. Nepal’s National Red List of Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Inskipp

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objectives of the Nepal National Bird Red Data Book were to provide comprehensive and up-to-date accounts of all the bird species found in Nepal, assess their status applying the IUCN Guidelines at Regional Levels, identify threats to all bird species and recommend the most practical measures for their conservation.  It is hoped that the Bird RDB will help Nepal achieve the Convention on Biological Diversity target of preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status.  As population changes of Nepal’s birds have been studied for only a few species, assessments of species’ national status were mainly made by assessing changes in distribution.  Species distribution maps were produced for all of Nepal’s bird species except vagrants and compared to maps that were produced in 1991 using the same mapping system.  Of the 878 bird species recorded, 168 species (19% were assessed as nationally threatened. These comprise 68 (40% Critically Endangered species, 38 (23% Endangered species and 62 (37% Vulnerable species.  A total of 62 species was considered Near Threatened and 22 species Data Deficient.  Over 55% of the threatened birds are lowland grassland specialists, 25% are wetland birds and 24% tropical and sub-tropical broadleaved forest birds.  Larger birds appear to be more threatened than smaller birds with 98 (25% non-passerine species threatened and 67 (14% passerine species.  Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are the most important threats.  Other threats include chemical poisoning, over-exploitation, climate change, hydropower, invasive species, intensification of agriculture, disturbance, and limited conservation measures and research.  Measures to address these threats are described.  It was also concluded that re-assessments of the status of certain bird groups carried out every five years and the setting up of a national online system for storing and reporting

  14. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

  15. Territorial defense of the red-whiskered bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus (Pycnonotidae, in a semi-wild habitat of the bird farm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunthorn Sotthibandhu

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available The territorial behavior of the red-whiskered bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus, was studied in the semiwild habitat of a bird farm compound in the District of Chana, Songkhla Province, the south of Thailand. The male and female birds were bred and reared in the farm till they reached maturity following which they were released to the wild. A mating pair was later formed and their territory established in the farm area. A decoy was used to simulate a natural intruder to the defended area. Ten test stations were sited in the four cardinal points of the compass and with reference to the farmhouse. The experiments were conducted during the pre-nesting and nesting periods. It was found that territorial boundary was marked by the resident male’s aggressive calls and threat displays to the decoy. The territory covered an area of approximately 0.3 hectare in which it was used for foraging and nesting. The size remained the same in both pre-nesting and nesting periods, but the territorial behavior during the nesting period was evidently more vigorous than that in the pre-nesting period. The intensities of territorial behavior had been hypothesized to be associated with diurnal foraging rhythms. But the finding was contradictory to this prediction. There was no significant difference in the intensity of territorial behavior (P > 0.05 at the three time regimes in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. It was suggested that the resident bird’s aggressive behavior might be associated with the degree of hunger pang.

  16. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  17. Detectability in Audio-Visual Surveys of Tropical Rainforest Birds: The Influence of Species, Weather and Habitat Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Alexander S.; Marques, Tiago A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Williams, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species. PMID:26110433

  18. Social monogamy vs. polyandry: ecological factors associated with sex roles in two closely related birds within the same habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goymann, W; Makomba, M; Urasa, F; Schwabl, I

    2015-07-01

    Why mainly males compete and females take a larger share in parental care remains an exciting question in evolutionary biology. Role-reversed species are of particular interest, because such 'exceptions' help to test the rule. Using mating systems theory as a framework, we compared the reproductive ecology of the two most contrasting coucals with regard to sexual dimorphism and parental care: the black coucal with male-only care and the biparental white-browed coucal. Both species occur in the same lush habitat and face similar ecological conditions, but drastically differ in mating system and sexual dimorphism. Black coucals were migratory and occurred at high breeding densities. With females being obligatory polyandrous and almost twice as heavy as males, black coucals belong to the most extreme vertebrates with reversed sexual dimorphism. Higher variance in reproductive success in fiercely competing females suggests that sexual selection is stronger in females than in males. In contrast, resident white-browed coucals bred at low densities and invariably in pairs. They were almost monomorphic and the variance in reproductive success was similar between the sexes. Black coucals were more likely to lose nests than white-browed coucals, probably facilitating female emancipation of parental care in black coucals. We propose that a combination of high food abundance, high population density, high degree of nest loss and male bias in the adult sex ratio represent ecological conditions that facilitate role reversal and polyandry in coucals and terrestrial vertebrates in general. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Population trends of Goričko agricultural landscape birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denac Katarina

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to numerous bird surveys in the past 20 years, the avifauna of Goričko is relatively well known. For some species, the very first national ecological researches were conducted in this area. The article summarizes all bird surveys so far. It presents population trends of farmland species which is one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. Most of the qualifying species of this habitat that are protected within the Natura 2000 network have suffered a decline at Goričko, specifically Quail Coturnix coturnix, Scops Owl Otus scops, Hoopoe Upupa epops, Woodlark Lullula arborea and White Stork Ciconia ciconia. The number of breeding pairs of the latter has not changed, but its fecundity has decreased. Furthermore, populations of other farmland bird species have decreased, for example Skylark Alauda arvensis, Stonechat Saxicola rubicola, Serin Serinus serinus and Common Linnet Linaria cannabina, as well as butterfly populations and tracts of grassland habitat types. National agricultural and nature conservation policies are evidently inefficient in protecting the biodiversity of Goričko. The most probable cause for bird population decline is agricultural intensification, which manifests itself at Goričko as disappearance and intensification of meadows, land consolidation, degradation of traditional orchards and use of pesticides. As a result of land consolidation hedges, uncultivated strips between fields, individual trees and bushes and minority habitat types are disappearing, whereas the surface of arable fields is increasing. Nature conservation measures performed by the Public Institute Goričko Nature Park with the support of DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia volunteers seem to be efficient, but are spatially and temporally constrained. For this reason, they cannot serve as a substitute for insufficient systemic financing which could be improved by substantive and financial reform of the agri-environmental scheme. Currently, a negligible

  20. Birds and the urban ecology of Potchefstroom / Nicoleen Celeste Smith

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Nicoleen Celeste

    2004-01-01

    Human activities cause drastic changes in the environment, such as the fragmentation of habitats, which is the greatest threat to the world's biodiversity and biogeography. By using birds to study habitat changes, it is possible that the type of habitat qualities that may still be possible near and in cities could be determined. It is possible that by improving the quality or conditions of habitats for birds, habitat qualities for other fauna would also improve. Birds are al...

  1. Population and Habitat Objectives for Avian Conservation in California’s Central Valley Grassland–Oak Savannah Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan T. DiGaudio

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0dn9f9b4In California’s Central Valley, grassland and oak savannah ecosystems provide multiple economic and social benefits, ecosystem services, and vital bird habitat. There is a growing interest in protecting, restoring, and managing these ecosystems, and the Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV provides leadership in the formulation of conservation goals and objectives. We defined a long-term goal of protecting, restoring, and managing Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems so that they are capable of supporting genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient wildlife populations. To measure progress toward this goal, we selected a suite of 12 landbird focal species that primarily breed in grasslands and oak savannahs as indicators of the state of these ecosystems on the Central Valley floor (primary focus area and in the Central Valley’s surrounding foothills (secondary focus area. Using data on current densities and habitat extent, we estimated that at least three of the focal species populations in the primary focus area and at least two of the focal species populations in the secondary focus area are currently small (<10,000 individuals and may be vulnerable to extirpation. Furthermore, at least two species appear to have steeply declining population trends. We defined long-term (100-year population objectives for each focal species that we expect to meet the goal of genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient populations. We then estimated corresponding short-term (10-year habitat objectives of 4,183 ha of additional grassland and 3,433 ha of additional oak savannah that will be required to make progress toward the long-term objectives. We expect that habitat restoration and enhancement efforts aimed at reaching these long-term conservation objectives will result in improvements to the function of Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems.

  2. The Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)

  3. Wind energy's subtle effect - habitat fragmentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pruett, Jay

    2011-07-01

    Full text: New wind energy production facilities are being built to accommodate demands for more, renewable, emission-free energy. This development is most often in windy, remote parts of the United States, so new transmission infrastructure capacity is also needed for shipment of energy from prairies, hilltops and shorelines to distant population centres. Well known environmental effects from wind energy development have included direct mortality to birds and bats. However, there is a more subtle effect also at play. 'Habitat fragmentation' is an impact caused by the siting and presence of infrastructure features on wildlife species. Instead of direct mortality, there is behavioural avoidance of such features because of activity, noise and even simply the presence of vertical structures that are different from the original nature of the habitat. This fragmentation threatens to make some of the last remaining habitat for declining species, especially grassland birds, unusable by them. Prairie grouse such as prairie chickens and sage grouse appear to be particularly susceptible to habitat fragmentation due to the presence of vertical structures. Other species such as the grasshopper sparrow have also been shown to avoid such features. It is believed that these species have evolved to avoid any vertical structure because it can serve as a perch for bird-eating raptors, including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Certain life cycle stages, such as nesting and chick rearing, appear to be most vulnerable to these fragmentation influences. Some of the research contributing to concern over habitat fragmentation, along with the mechanism of such fragmentation, will be presented. Solutions will also be offered for the siting of wind energy facilities and transmission lines to avoid this negative environmental impact. (Author)

  4. Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea home range and habitat use during the non-breeding season in Assam, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namgail, T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Sivananinthaperumal, B.; Areendran, G.; Sathiyaselvam, P.; Mundkur, T.; Mccracken, T.; Newman, S.

    2011-01-01

    India is an important non-breeding ground for migratory waterfowl in the Central Asian Flyway. Millions of birds visit wetlands across the country, yet information on their distribution, abundance, and use of resources is rudimentary at best. Limited information suggests that populations of several species of migratory ducks are declining due to encroachment of wetland habitats largely by agriculture and industry. The development of conservation strategies is stymied by a lack of ecological information on these species. We conducted a preliminary assessment of the home range and habitat use of Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in the northeast Indian state of Assam. Seven Ruddy Shelducks were fitted with solar-powered Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite transmitters, and were tracked on a daily basis during the winter of 2009-2010. Locations from all seven were used to describe habitat use, while locations from four were used to quantify their home range, as the other three had too few locations (2 (range = 22-87 km2) and an average home range (95% contour) of 610 km2 (range = 222-1,550 km2). Resource Selection Functions (RSF), used to describe habitat use, showed that the birds frequented riverine wetlands more than expected, occurred on grasslands and shrublands in proportion to their availability, and avoided woods and cropland habitats. The core use areas for three individuals (75%) were on the Brahmaputra River, indicating their preference for riverine habitats. Management and protection of riverine habitats and nearby grasslands may benefit conservation efforts for the Ruddy Shelduck and waterfowl species that share these habitats during the non-breeding season.

  5. Virginia ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, and gulls...

  6. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

  7. Changes in bird community composition in response to growth changes in short-rotation woody crop planting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Hanowski, J.; Schiller, A.; Hoffman, W.; Christian, D.; Lindberg, J.

    1997-01-01

    Hybrid poplar established as intensively managed short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) on former agricultural lands can provide habitat for wildlife. Studies of bird use of SRWC for nesting and during fall migration have shown that the numbers and kinds of breeding birds using mature plantings of hybrid poplar are similar to natural forested lands. In Minnesota, the number of species of breeding birds using habitat provided by clonal-trial plantings and young larger-scale plantings (12-64 ha) of hybrid poplar were initially most similar to those using grasslands and row-crops. As the plantings approached canopy closure, successional species became predominant. In the Pacific Northwest, breeding bird composition and density were very similar for mature plantings and forested areas; however, fall migrants were found primarily in forested areas. In the Southeast, preliminary comparisons of breeding bird use of plantings of sweetgum and sycamore with naturally regenerating forests of different ages and sizes and vegetation structure are showing no size effect on use. As with hybrid poplar, species use of the more mature plantings of sweetgum and sycamore was most similar to that of natural forests. (author)

  8. Bird migration patterns in the arid southwest-Final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Felix, Rodney K.; Dieh, Robert H.

    2010-01-01

    habitat types at all sites in at least one season. Upland forest habitat in parts of Arizona and New Mexico supported high migrant densities, especially in fall. Developed habitats in areas with little upland forest habitat also supported high migrant densities. Scrub/shrub and grassland habitats supported low to intermediate migrant densities, but because these habitat types dominate the region, they may support large numbers of migratory birds. This may be especially true for species that do not use forested habitats during migration. Target identity remains a challenge for radar-based studies. Presence of bats in the data complicates interpretation of some observations, particularly from central Texas. Based on our results it is simplistic to: (1) consider the arid west as a largely inhospitable landscape in which there are only relatively small oases of habitat that provide the resources needed by all migrants; (2) think of western riparian and upland forest habitat as supporting the majority of migrants in all cases; or (3) consider a particular habitat type unimportant migrant stopover habitat based solely on migrant densities.

  9. The relative importance of climate and vegetation properties on patterns of North American breeding bird species richness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, Scott J; Sun, Mindy; Zolkos, Scott; Hansen, Andy; Dubayah, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing and ecological modeling warrant a timely and robust investigation of the ecological variables that underlie large-scale patterns of breeding bird species richness, particularly in the context of intensifying land use and climate change. Our objective was to address this need using an array of bioclimatic and remotely sensed data sets representing vegetation properties and structure, and other aspects of the physical environment. We first build models of bird species richness across breeding bird survey (BBS) routes, and then spatially predict richness across the coterminous US at moderately high spatial resolution (1 km). Predictor variables were derived from various sources and maps of species richness were generated for four groups (guilds) of birds with different breeding habitat affiliation (forest, grassland, open woodland, scrub/shrub), as well as all guilds combined. Predictions of forest bird distributions were strong (R 2 = 0.85), followed by grassland (0.76), scrub/shrub (0.63) and open woodland (0.60) species. Vegetation properties were generally the strongest determinants of species richness, whereas bioclimatic and lidar-derived vertical structure metrics were of variable importance and dependent upon the guild type. Environmental variables (climate and the physical environment) were also frequently selected predictors, but canopy structure variables were not as important as expected based on more local to regional scale studies. Relatively sparse sampling of canopy structure metrics from the satellite lidar sensor may have reduced their importance relative to other predictor variables across the study domain. We discuss these results in the context of the ecological drivers of species richness patterns, the spatial scale of bird diversity analyses, and the potential of next generation space-borne lidar systems relevant to vegetation and ecosystem studies. This study strengthens current understanding of bird species

  10. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  11. Birds and butterflies respond to soil-induced habitat heterogeneity in experimental plantings of tallgrass prairie species managed as agroenergy feedstocks in Iowa, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The positive association between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity has been well-documented for many taxa at various spatial and temporal scales, and the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity in agricultural landscapes has been promoted as a key strategy in efforts to conserve biodiversity....

  12. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  13. Habitat and nesting biology of Mountain Plovers in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plumb, R.E.; Anderson, S.H.; Knopf, F.L.

    2005-01-01

    Although previous research has considered habitat associations and breeding biology of Mountain Plovers in Wyoming at discrete sites, no study has considered these attributes at a statewide scale. We located 55 Mountain Plover nests in 6 counties across Wyoming during 2002 and 2003. Nests occurred in 2 general habitat types: grassland and desert-shrub. Mean estimated hatch date was 26 June (n = 31) in 2002 and 21 June (n = 24) in 2003. Mean hatch date was not related to latitude or elevation. Hatch success of nests was inferred in 2003 by the presence of eggshell fragments in the nest scrape. Eggs in 14 of 22 (64%) known-fate nests hatched. All grassland sites and 90% of desert sites were host to ungulate grazers, although prairie dogs were absent at 64% of nest sites. Nest plots had less grass coverage and reduced grass height compared with random plots. More than 50% of nests occurred on elevated plateaus. The Mountain Plover's tendency to nest on arid, elevated plateaus further substantiates claims that the bird is also a disturbed-prairie species.

  14. Cavity Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone

    1977-01-01

    Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...

  15. Eating Like a Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Chris; Fortner, Rosanne W.

    This teacher guide and student workbook set contains two learning activities, designed for fifth through ninth grade students, that concentrate on the adaptations of shorebird beaks for a variety of habitats and food sources, and the effect of toxic chemicals in the food chain on the birds. In activity A, students discover how shorebirds are…

  16. The potential of military training areas for bird conservation in a central European landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bušek, Ondřej; Reif, Jiří

    2017-10-01

    European biodiversity has suffered from serious declines during the past few decades, with alterations of land use practices resulting in a loss of fine-scale habitat heterogeneity being a dominant driver. This heterogeneity was maintained by extensive landscape management, which has gradually been replaced by either intensive exploitation or land abandonment. It has been suggested that military training can generate habitat heterogeneity that may support the existence of species of conservation concern, but studies rigorously testing the real importance of military training areas for biodiversity are lacking. Here we address this issue by analyses of two datasets. First, we compared land cover classes between all large military training areas (MTAs) and surrounding control areas (CAs) of the same size in the Czech Republic using multivariate redundancy analysis. We found that the difference in land cover between MTAs and CAs was significant and represented the strongest gradient in land cover classes: from various farmland and artificial habitats typical for CAs to forest and scrubland-grassland mosaic typical for MTAs. Second, we selected one of these areas and compared bird species richness between the MTA and the nearby CA using generalized linear mixed effects models. We found that the number of species of conservation concern was significantly higher in the MTA than in the CA. With respect to habitats, bird species richness was significantly higher in the MTA than in the CA for open habitats, but not for forest habitats. Our results are thus consistent with the view that military training creates areas that are different from the surrounding landscape in terms of land cover, and that this difference translates to a suitability for species of conservation concern. It is remarkable that the positive influence of military training is confined to open habitats, which are subject to the most intensive military activities and also suffer the highest degree of

  17. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae based on density, home range, and habitat selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Marques-Santos

    Full Text Available The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.

  18. Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell; Bichier, Peter; Barber, Nicholas A; Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S

    2008-04-01

    Insectivorous birds reduce arthropod abundances and their damage to plants in some, but not all, studies where predation by birds has been assessed. The variation in bird effects may be due to characteristics such as plant productivity or quality, habitat complexity, and/or species diversity of predator and prey assemblages. Since agroforestry systems vary in such characteristics, these systems provide a good starting point for understanding when and where we can expect predation by birds to be important. We analyze data from bird exclosure studies in forests and agroforestry systems to ask whether birds consistently reduce their arthropod prey base and whether bird predation differs between forests and agroforestry systems. Further, we focus on agroforestry systems to ask whether the magnitude of bird predation (1) differs between canopy trees and understory plants, (2) differs when migratory birds are present or absent, and (3) correlates with bird abundance and diversity. We found that, across all studies, birds reduce all arthropods, herbivores, carnivores, and plant damage. We observed no difference in the magnitude of bird effects between agroforestry systems and forests despite simplified habitat structure and plant diversity in agroforests. Within agroforestry systems, bird reduction of arthropods was greater in the canopy than the crop layer. Top-down effects of bird predation were especially strong during censuses when migratory birds were present in agroforestry systems. Importantly, the diversity of the predator assemblage correlated with the magnitude of predator effects; where the diversity of birds, especially migratory birds, was greater, birds reduced arthropod densities to a greater extent. We outline potential mechanisms for relationships between bird predator, insect prey, and habitat characteristics, and we suggest future studies using tropical agroforests as a model system to further test these areas of ecological theory.

  19. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...

  20. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  1. Tracking migrating birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willemoes, Mikkel

    habitats with those in rural habitats. Some species have decreased the frequency of migrants and migration distance in urban environments, and others have not. The other manuscript describes the small scale movements of three different Palaearctic migrants during winter in Africa in a farmland habitat....... In another species, environmental conditions are not a good predictor of movements, and possibly effects of timing constraints or food type play a role. Two manuscripts focus on the effects of human-induced habitat alterations on migratory behaviour. One compares the movements of partial migrants in urban...... and a forest reserve. In the degraded habitat all species used more space, although the consequence on bird density is less clear. Two manuscripts relate the migratory movements of a long-distance migrant with models of navigation. One compares model predictions obtained by simulation with actual movements...

  2. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  3. Transport characteristics and morphology of the colon and coprodeum in two wild birds of different habitats, the rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) and the common murre (Uria aalge)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Árnason, Sighvatur S; Elbrønd (Bibs), Vibeke Sødring; Laverty, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Dietary salt intake in domestic fowl affects epithelial transport and morphology of the lower intestine (colon and coprodeum). This study investigated lower intestinal morphology and transport activity in two wild bird species with natural diets containing either low or high salt. Tissues from rock...

  4. A new species of Niditinea (Tineidae: Tineinae) with a preference for bird nests and the known larval habitats of the species in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    We describe and illustrate Niditinea sabroskyi new species, a species mostly associated with bird nests. We provide diagnostic information to distinguish the new species from the other two species occurring in the United States, Niditinea fuscella (Linnaeus, 1758) and Niditinea orleansella (Chambers...

  5. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  6. Grassland songbirds in a dynamic management landscape: Behavioral responses and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlut, N.G.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.

    2006-01-01

    In recent decades, earlier and more frequent harvests of agricultural grasslands have been implicated as a major cause of population declines in grassland songbirds. From 2002 to 2005, in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York, USA, we studied the reproductive success of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) and Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) on four grassland treatments: (1) early-hayed fields cut before 11 June and again in early- to mid-July; (2) middle-hayed fields cut once between 21 June and 10 July; (3) late-hayed fields cut after 1 August; and (4) rotationally grazed pastures. Both the number of fledglings per female per year and nest success (logistic-exposure method) varied among treatments and between species. Although birds initiated nests earlier on early-hayed fields compared to others, haying caused 99% of active Savannah Sparrow and 100% of active Bobolink nests to fail. Both the initial cutting date and time between cuttings influenced renesting behavior. After haying, Savannah Sparrows generally remained on early-hayed fields and immediately renested (clutch completion 15.6 ?? 1.28 days post-haying; all values are reported as mean ?? SE), while Bobolinks abandoned the fields for at least two weeks (mean clutch completion 33 ?? 0.82 days post-haying). While female Savannah Sparrows fledged more offspring per year (1.28 ?? 0.16) than female Bobolinks (0.05 ?? 0.05), reproductive success on early-hayed fields was low. The number of fledglings per female per year was greater on middle-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.47 ?? 0.42; Bobolinks, 2.22 ?? 0.26), and late-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.29 ?? 0.30; Bobolinks, 2.79 ?? 0.18). Reproductive success was moderate on rotationally grazed pastures, where female Savannah Sparrows and female Bobolinks produced 2.32 ?? 0.25 and 1.79 ?? 0.33 fledgling per year, respectively. We simultaneously conducted cutting surveys throughout the Champlain Valley and found that 3-8% of hayfield

  7. Effects of prescribed burns on wintering cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather L. Bateman; Margaret A. O' Connell

    2006-01-01

    Primary cavity-nesting birds play a critical role in forest ecosystems by excavating cavities later used by other birds and mammals as nesting or roosting sites. Several species of cavity-nesting birds are non-migratory residents and consequently subject to winter conditions. We conducted winter bird counts from 1998 to 2000 to examine the abundance and habitat...

  8. Differential effects of habitat fragmentation on birds and mammals in Valdivian temperate rainforests Efectos diferenciales de la fragmentación del hábitat sobre aves y mamíferos del bosque valdiviano

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DOUGLAS A. KELT

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Four recent studies on Chilean vertebrates underscore the very different effects that habitat fragmentation may have under different conditions. In southern Chile, birds exhibited significant species-area relationships, whereas the more depauperate small mammal community did not. The avifauna of highly isolated rainforest remnants in Fray Jorge National Park (IV Región presented steeper species-area relations than those in southern Chile, reminiscent of land-bridge islands after faunal relaxation. The small mammal results were unexpected but may reflect the reduced vagility and immigration potential of this group. Additionally, the inter-remnant matrix habitat may support large populations of only some species, allowing them to capitalize on resources that are available in forest remnants. Such an effect is less likely for birds due to their greater vagility. Although the influence of remnant area is more clearly demonstrated for birds in Chile, it appears that small mammal assemblages may be more immediately impacted by habitat fragmentation than are birds, and that further fragmentation of temperate rainforests will seriously impoverish the small mammal assemblage, many of whose members are endemic to this region. Further research should emphasize the role of the inter-remnant matrix, of habitat corridors, and of the relative sensitivity of different species to matrix/corridor quality and remnant isolationCuatro estudios recientes en vertebrados chilenos subrayan los efectos muy diversos que la fragmentación del hábitat puede tener bajo diversas condiciones. En el sur de Chile, las aves exhibieron relaciones significativas entre la riqueza de especies y el área de hábitat ("especies-area", mientras que tal relación no se observó en la comunidad de pequeños mamíferos, la cual tiene menos especies. La avifauna de los fragmentos remanentes altamente aislados del Parque Nacional Fray Jorge (IV Región presentaron relaciones especies

  9. A New Species of Pengornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes) from the Lower Cretaceous of China Suggests a Specialized Scansorial Habitat Previously Unknown in Early Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Han; O’Connor, Jingmai K.; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes. PMID:26039693

  10. A new species of pengornithidae (aves: enantiornithes from the lower cretaceous of China suggests a specialized scansorial habitat previously unknown in early birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Hu

    Full Text Available We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes.

  11. Predicted effect of landscape position on wildlife habitat value of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetlands in a tile-drained agricultural region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, David L.; Crumpton, William R.; Green, David; Loan-Wilsey, Anna; Cooper, Tom; Johnson, Rex R.

    2013-01-01

    Justification for investment in restored or constructed wetland projects are often based on presumed net increases in ecosystem services. However, quantitative assessment of performance metrics is often difficult and restricted to a single objective. More comprehensive performance assessments could help inform decision-makers about trade-offs in services provided by alternative restoration program design attributes. The primary goal of the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is to establish wetlands that efficiently remove nitrates from tile-drained agricultural landscapes. A secondary objective is provision of wildlife habitat. We used existing wildlife habitat models to compare relative net change in potential wildlife habitat value for four alternative landscape positions of wetlands within the watershed. Predicted species richness and habitat value for birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles generally increased as the wetland position moved lower in the watershed. However, predicted average net increase between pre- and post-project value was dependent on taxonomic group. The increased average wetland area and changes in surrounding upland habitat composition among landscape positions were responsible for these differences. Net change in predicted densities of several grassland bird species at the four landscape positions was variable and species-dependent. Predicted waterfowl breeding activity was greater for lower drainage position wetlands. Although our models are simplistic and provide only a predictive index of potential habitat value, we believe such assessment exercises can provide a tool for coarse-level comparisons of alternative proposed project attributes and a basis for constructing informed hypotheses in auxiliary empirical field studies.

  12. Screamy Bird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....

  13. Birds of the St. Croix River valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faanes, Craig A.

    1981-01-01

    The St. Croix River Valley encompasses nearly 11,550 km2 in east-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. A wide range of habitats are available for birds including upland oak, lowland deciduous, maple-basswood, lowland and upland coniferous forests, natural basin wetlands, and grasslands. Situated in the north-central region of the United States, the valley is a biological 'crossroads' for many species. Because of the mixed affinities of plant communities, the valley includes the northern and southern range limits for a number of species. Also, because the valley lies near the forest-prairie transition zone, many typical western breeding species (e.g. pintail, western meadowlark, yellow-headed blackbird) breed in proximity to typical eastern species such as tufted titmouse, eastern meadowlark, and cardinal. From 1966 to 1980, I conducted extensive surveys of avian distribution and abundance in the St. Croix River Valley. I have supplemented the results of these surveys with published and unpublished observations contributed by many ornithologists. These additional data include compilations from Christmas Bird Counts sponsored by the National Audubon Society and from the Breeding Bird Survey coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Three hundred fourteen species have been recorded in the study area; data are presented on the migration period, nesting season distribution, winter distribution, relative abundance, and habitat use of each species. Recognizing the uniqueness of the area, and its importance not only to wildlife but also to man, the U.S. Congress designated the St. Croix a National Scenic Riverway. This action provided a considerable degree of protection to lands along and directly adjacent to the river. Unfortunately, no similar legal measure exists to protect lands away from the river. With the exception of the northern quarter of the St. Croix River Valley, agricultural interests have made significant inroads into the habitat base. The

  14. Effect of climate change on halophytic grasslands loss and its impact in the viability of Gopherus flavomarginatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra-López

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The decrease of the habitat is one of the main factors that affect the survival of G. flavomarginatus. This study assesses the halophytic grasslands loss over a period of 30 years in the distribution area of the Bolson tortoise and the effects of climate change on the habitat suitability of these grasslands and its possible impact on this tortoise. Grassland loss was assessed by an analysis of symmetric differences and the habitat suitability model was carried out by the method of overlapping layers raster. Our results showed a grassland loss of 63.7%; however, our current habitat suitability model points out that much of the grassland loss has occurred where the environmental conditions are suitable. These results suggest that anthropic activity is a main factor in the habitat disturbance in the study area. Likewise, the models for years 2050 and 2070 under the criteria RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0, suggest that anthropic activity will continue be the main cause of the grassland loss. Therefore, considering the association between the Bolson tortoise and grassland halophyte Hilaria mutica, which comprises around 60% of its diet, the viability of the Bolson tortoise depends largely on strategies aimed at protecting the soil that allow the presence of this grassland.

  15. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  16. Woody structure facilitates invasion of woody plants by providing perches for birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Chelse M; Huynh, Andrew; Pennings, Steven C

    2017-10-01

    Woody encroachment threatens prairie ecosystems globally, and thus understanding the mechanisms that facilitate woody encroachment is of critical importance. Coastal tallgrass prairies along the Gulf Coast of the US are currently threatened by the spread of several species of woody plants. We studied a coastal tallgrass prairie in Texas, USA, to determine if existing woody structure increased the supply of seeds from woody plants via dispersal by birds. Specifically, we determined if (i) more seedlings of an invasive tree ( Tridacia sebifera ) are present surrounding a native woody plant ( Myrica cerifera ); (ii) wooden perches increase the quantity of seeds dispersed to a grassland; and (iii) perches alter the composition of the seed rain seasonally in prairie habitats with differing amounts of native and invasive woody vegetation, both underneath and away from artificial wooden perches. More T. sebifera seedlings were found within M. cerifera patches than in graminoid-dominated areas. Although perches did not affect the total number of seeds, perches changed the composition of seed rain to be less dominated by grasses and forbs. Specifically, 20-30 times as many seeds of two invasive species of woody plants were found underneath perches independent of background vegetation, especially during months when seed rain was highest. These results suggest that existing woody structure in a grassland can promote further woody encroachment by enhancing seed dispersal by birds. This finding argues for management to reduce woody plant abundance before exotic plants set seeds and argues against the use of artificial perches as a restoration technique in grasslands threatened by woody species.

  17. Winter habitat associations of diurnal raptors in Californias Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandolrno, E.R.; Herzog, M.P.; Hooper, S.L.; Smith, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The wintering raptors of California's Central Valley are abundant and diverse. Despite this, little information exists on the habitats used by these birds in winter. We recorded diurnal raptors along 19 roadside survey routes throughout the Central Valley for three consecutive winters between 2007 and 2010. We obtained data sufficient to determine significant positive and negative habitat associations for the White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), Bald Eagle {Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), and Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus). The Prairie Falcon and Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks showed expected strong positive associations with grasslands. The Bald Eagle and Northern Harrier were positively associated not only with wetlands but also with rice. The strongest positive association for the White-tailed Kite was with wetlands. The Red-tailed Hawk was positively associated with a variety of habitat types but most strongly with wetlands and rice. The American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, and White-tailed Kite were positively associated with alfalfa. Nearly all species were negatively associated with urbanized landscapes, orchards, and other intensive forms of agriculture. The White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Redtailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and American Kestrel showed significant negative associations with oak savanna. Given the rapid conversion of the Central Valley to urban and intensive agricultural uses over the past few decades, these results have important implications for conservation of these wintering raptors in this region.

  18. Multi-scale habitat selection in highly territorial bird species: Exploring the contribution of nest, territory and landscape levels to site choice in breeding rallids (Aves: Rallidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlikowski, Jan; Chibowski, Piotr; Karasek, Tomasz; Brambilla, Mattia

    2016-05-01

    Habitat selection often involves choices made at different spatial scales, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood, and studies that investigate the relative importance of individual scales are rare. We investigated the effect of three spatial scales (landscape, territory, nest-site) on the occurrence pattern of little crake Zapornia parva and water rail Rallus aquaticus at 74 ponds in the Masurian Lakeland, Poland. Habitat structure, food abundance and water chemical parameters were measured at nests and random points within landscape plots (from 300-m to 50-m radius), territory (14-m) and nest-site plots (3-m). Regression analyses suggested that the most relevant scale was territory level, followed by landscape, and finally by nest-site for both species. Variation partitioning confirmed this pattern for water rail, but also highlighted the importance of nest-site (the level explaining the highest share of unique variation) for little crake. The most important variables determining the occurrence of both species were water body fragmentation (landscape), vegetation density (territory) and water depth (at territory level for little crake, and at nest-site level for water rail). Finally, for both species multi-scale models including factors from different levels were more parsimonious than single-scale ones, i.e. habitat selection was likely a multi-scale process. The importance of particular spatial scales seemed more related to life-history traits than to the extent of the scales considered. In the case of our study species, the territory level was highly important likely because both rallids have to obtain all the resources they need (nest site, food and mates) in relatively small areas, the multi-purpose territories they defend.

  19. Opportunistically collected data reveal habitat selection by migrating Whooping Cranes in the U.S. Northern Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemuth, Neil D.; Ryba, Adam J.; Pearse, Aaron T.; Kvas, Susan M.; Brandt, David; Wangler, Brian; Austin, Jane; Carlisle, Martha J.

    2018-01-01

    The Whooping Crane (Grus americana) is a federally endangered species in the United States and Canada that relies on wetland, grassland, and cropland habitat during its long migration between wintering grounds in coastal Texas, USA, and breeding sites in Alberta and Northwest Territories, Canada. We combined opportunistic Whooping Crane sightings with landscape data to identify correlates of Whooping Crane occurrence along the migration corridor in North Dakota and South Dakota, USA. Whooping Cranes selected landscapes characterized by diverse wetland communities and upland foraging opportunities. Model performance substantially improved when variables related to detection were included, emphasizing the importance of accounting for biases associated with detection and reporting of birds in opportunistic datasets. We created a predictive map showing relative probability of occurrence across the study region by applying our model to GIS data layers; validation using independent, unbiased locations from birds equipped with platform transmitting terminals indicated that our final model adequately predicted habitat use by migrant Whooping Cranes. The probability map demonstrated that existing conservation efforts have protected much top-tier Whooping Crane habitat, especially in the portions of North Dakota and South Dakota that lie east of the Missouri River. Our results can support species recovery by informing prioritization for acquisition and restoration of landscapes that provide safe roosting and foraging habitats. Our results can also guide the siting of structures such as wind towers and electrical transmission and distribution lines, which pose a strike and mortality risk to migrating Whooping Cranes.

  20. Habitat associations of small mammals in southern Brazil and use of regurgitated pellets of birds of prey for inventorying a local fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DR. Scheibler

    Full Text Available We inventoried terrestrial small mammals in an agricultural area in southern Brazil by using trapping and prey consumed by Barn Owls (Tyto alba and White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus. Small mammals were trapped in three habitat types: corn fields, uncultivated fields ("capoeiras", and native forest fragments. A total of 1,975 small mammal specimens were trapped, another 2,062 identified from the diet of Barn Owls, and 2,066 from the diet of White-tailed Kites. Both trapping and prey in the predators' diet yielded 18 small mammal species: three marsupials (Didelphis albiventris, Gracilinanus agilis, and Monodelphis dimidiata and 15 rodents (Akodon paranaensis, Bruceppatersonius iheringi, Calomys sp., Cavia aperea, Euryzygomatomys spinosus, Holochilus brasiliensis, Mus musculus, Necromys lasiurus, Nectomys squamipes, Oligoryzomys nigripes, Oryzomys angouya, Oxymycterus sp.1, Oxymycterus sp.2, Rattus norvegicus, and Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758. The greatest richness was found in the uncultivated habitat. We concluded that the three methods studied for inventorying small mammals (prey in the diet of Barn Owls, White-tailed Kites, and trapping were complementary, since together, rather than separately, they produced a better picture of local richness.

  1. Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural intensification and abandonment. Many measures are in place to address these challenges, through restoration and appropriate management, though more work is necessary. We present eight studies from China/Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The papers cover a wide range of grassland and steppe habitats and cover vegetation ecology, syntaxonomy and zoology. We also conducted a systematic search on steppe and grassland diversity. The greatest number of studies was from China, followed by Germany and England. We conclude that the amount of research being carried out on Eurasian grasslands is inadequate considering their high levels of biodiversity and vulnerability. We hope to encourage readers to address current major challenges, such as how to manage grasslands for the benefit of diverse taxa, to ensure that conservation initiatives concentrate on sites where there is good potential for success and for the generation of realistic and viable conservation strategies.

  2. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher C. Swanson; Mark A. Rumble; Nicholas W. Kaczor; Robert W. Klaver; Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Jonathan A. Jenks; Kent C. Jensen

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this...

  3. Long-term grassland management effects on soil Phosphorus status on rewetted Histosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Sebastian; Müller, Jürgen; Kayser, Manfred

    2017-04-01

    Since the Neolithic Period, the cultivation of wetlands has played a significant role for the settlement of Humans northwest Germany. A continuing drainage of the wetlands over the centuries and an intensified soil cultivation during the last decades has caused irreversible peat degradation and led to fundamental changes in the landscape. Nowadays, almost 70 % of the 4345 km2 peatland of Lower Saxony is altered by agriculture. For the revitalization of wetland ecosystems, permanent rewetting is an integral component to preserve the functions of organic soils and achieve resilient, speciesrich wetlands. However, permanent rewetting measures are not always feasible. In our study area at the Osterfeiner Moor, a fen located in the Dümmer lowlands near Osnabrück, intensive forage cropping areas were converted into extensive permanent grasslands accompanied by temporary rewetting during winter. This management practice combined with zero fertilization and a low mowing and grazing intensity aims at mitigating mineralisation of peat layers and creating a habitat for endangered meadow bird species. In this semi-natural ecosystem soil phosphorus (P) dynamics play a crucial role. However, longterm research results on P availability of degraded and rewetted fens are still lacking. Thus, we investigated the interaction of different grassland uses and P dynamics in the soil. We described P depletion of the topsoil over a time scale of 17 years after the implementation of restoration measures. Our study site comprises of 180 ha protected grassland divided into 52 management plots. According to the management system, we divided the plots into meadows, pastures and combinations of cutting and grazing. The soils in our study area can be characterised as drained organic soils, WRB: Rheic Sapric Histosols (Drainic), with drastic degradation properties through moorsh forming processes. Plant-available P (double lactate extraction method: PDL) was analysed from representative topsoil

  4. 77 FR 9260 - Establishment of Dakota Grassland Conservation Area, North Dakota and South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-16

    ... under conservation protection. The area's strong and vibrant rural lifestyle, of which agriculture is the dominant land use, is one of the key components to ensuring habitat integrity and wildlife... conservation area are to protect 240,000 acres of wetland and 1.7 million acres of critical grassland habitat...

  5. A functional method for classifying European grasslands for use in joint ecological and economic studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hodgson, JG; Montserrat-Marti, G; Cerabolini, B; Ceriani, RM; Maestro-Martinez, M; Peco, B; Wilson, PJ; Thompson, K; Grime, JP; Band, SR; Bogard, A; Castro-Diez, P; Charles, M; Jones, G; Perez-Rontome, MC; Caccianiga, M; Alard, D; Bakker, JP; Cornelissen, JHC; Dutoit, T; Grootjans, AP; Guerrero-Campo, J; Gupta, PL; Hynd, A; Kahmen, S; Poschlod, P; Romo-Diez, A; Rorison, IH; Rosen, E; Schreiber, KF; Tallowin, J; Espuny, LD; Villar-Salvador, P

    2005-01-01

    A simple protocol is presented for a functional classification of European grassland species using attributes that can be quickly and easily measured. These attributes relate to habitat fertility, intensity of grazing and disturbance. As a surrogate for habitat fertility we use leaf nitrogen

  6. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  7. Characteristics of urban woodlands affecting breeding bird diversity and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    N.G. Tilghman

    1987-01-01

    Breeding bird communities were studied in 32 forest islands surrounded by urban development. These isolated woodlands in Springfield, Massachusetts, provided breeding habitats for a wider variety of birds (77 species) than previously described for other urban habitats (e.g. four times as many species as found in urban residential areas in the same city in a...

  8. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M [Armour, SD

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  9. Burn and they will come! The western regional birds and burns study examines bird responses to prescribed fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan Thompson; John Lehmkuhl

    2008-01-01

    Although prescribed fire is increasingly being used in ponderosa pine forests as a management tool to reduce the risk of future high-severity wildfire, its effects on wildlife habitat have rarely been examined. The Birds and Burns Network was created to assist managers in planning prescribed fire projects that will reduce fuels and enhance bird habitat. Researchers...

  10. A review of climate change effects on terrestrial rangeland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. M. Finch; K. E. Bagne; M. M. Friggens; D. M. Smith; K. M. Brodhead

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated existing literature on predicted and known climate change effects on terrestrial rangeland birds. We asked the following questions: 1) How does climate change affect birds? 2) How will birds respond to climate change? 3) Are species already responding? 4) How will habitats be impacted?

  11. Point Count Length and Detection of Forest Neotropical Migrant Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deanna K. Dawson; David R. Smith; Chandler S. Robbins

    1995-01-01

    Comparisons of bird abundances among years or among habitats assume that the rates at which birds are detected and counted are constant within species. We use point count data collected in forests of the Mid-Atlantic states to estimate detection probabilities for Neotropical migrant bird species as a function of count length. For some species, significant differences...

  12. Fate of semi-natural grassland in England between 1960 and 2013: A test of national conservation policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy E. Ridding

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is well documented that significant losses in semi-natural grassland occurred across Europe during the second half of the twentieth century. However, comparatively few studies have investigated and quantified the fate of large numbers of individual grassland areas. This is important for understanding the causes of decline, and consequently establishing new policies to conserve and restore lost habitats. This study addresses this problem; GIS was used to compare historic survey data collected between 1960 and 1981 with two contemporary spatial datasets of habitats in England. The datasets included the Priority Habitats Inventory 2013 and the Land Cover Map 2007 and this was undertaken for different types of semi-natural grassland across England. Considerable decreases occurred across the different grassland types, with a loss of 47% of studied semi-natural grasslands sites in England over 32–53 years. Of this, the majority of grassland was lost to conversion to agriculturally-improved grassland or arable cultivation, 45% and 43% respectively. Changes to woodland and urban areas were also evident, but on a much smaller scale. Sites receiving statutory protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest were found to have retained more grassland (91%, compared with non-protected sites (27%, thus highlighting the effectiveness of this aspect of current conservation policy in England, and the need for this to continue in the future.

  13. The Important Bird Areas Program in the United States: building a network of sites for conservation, state by state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey V. Wells; Daniel K. Niven; John Cecil

    2005-01-01

    The Important Bird Area (IBA) program is an international effort to identify, conserve, and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for bird populations. BirdLife International began the IBA program in Europe in 1985. Since that time, BirdLife partners in more than 100 countries have joined together to build the global IBA network. Audubon (BirdLife...

  14. Landscape associations of birds during migratory stopover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, Robert Howard

    The challenge for migratory bird conservation is habitat preservation that sustains breeding, migration, and non-breeding biological processes. In choosing an appropriately scaled conservation arena for habitat preservation, a conservative and thorough examination of stopover habitat use patterns by migrants works back from the larger scales at which such relationships may occur. Because the use of stopover habitats by migrating birds occurs at spatial scales larger than traditional field techniques can easily accommodate, I quantify these relationship using the United States system of weather surveillance radars (popularly known as NEXRAD). To provide perspective on use of this system for biologists, I first describe the technical challenges as well as some of the biological potential of these radars for ornithological research. Using data from these radars, I then examined the influence of Lake Michigan and the distribution of woodland habitat on migrant concentrations in northeastern Illinois habitats during stopover. Lake Michigan exerted less influence on migrant abundance and density than the distribution and availability of habitat for stopover. There was evidence of post-migratory movement resulting in habitats within suburban landscapes experiencing higher migrant abundance but lower migrant density than habitats within nearby urban and agricultural landscapes. Finally, in the context of hierarchy theory, I examined the influence of landscape ecological and behavioral processes on bird density during migratory stopover. Migrant abundance did not vary across landscapes that differed considerably in the amount of habitat available for stopover. As a result, smaller, more isolated patches held higher densities of birds. Spatial models of migrant habitat selection based on migrant proximity to a patch explained nearly as much variance in the number of migrants occupying patches (R2 = 0.88) as selection models based on migrant interception of patches during

  15. Indirect Effects of Energy Development in Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Cameron Albert

    Grassland landscapes in North America are undergoing rapid industrialization due to energy development facilitated by the growing popularity of fracking and horizontal drilling technology. Each year over 3 million hectares are lost from grassland and shrubland habitats to well infrastructure. Direct footprints from energy infrastructure cause impacts to vegetation cover, available cattle forage, carbon sequestration potential, and usable space for wildlife. However, legacy effects from well construction and noise pollution, light pollution, and altered viewsheds have the potential to impact areas beyond this direct footprint, causing additive and persistent changes to nearby grassland function. While these additional areas may be small on a well pad basis, they may have substantial cumulative impacts over time. To investigate these effects via a diversity of mechanisms, we studied the seasonal habitat selection of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus, hereafter bobwhite) in an energy-producing landscape to evaluate space use patterns relative to energy infrastructure. Habitat selection was modeled in the breeding and nonbreeding season using resource Utilization functions (RUFs). We then investigated patterns of vegetation, arthropod, and soil characteristics surrounding well pads to assess small scale environmental gradients extending away from drilling pads via a combination of multivariate and univariate techniques (i.e., Nonmetric dimensional scaling and ANOVA). We found minimal avoidance of energy structures by quail, suggesting a tolerance of moderate development levels. All small-scale effects studied except for soil moisture were impacted at the pad itself (P < 0.01). Off-pad impacts to arthropod abundance and biomass were spatially limited to areas close to pads, while vegetation cover was typically lower than the surrounding habitat beyond 10 m of pads. Soil surface temperature was higher at distances close to well pads, and soil moisture was not

  16. Farming for pests? Local and landscape-scale effects of grassland management on rabbit densities

    OpenAIRE

    Petrovan , Silviu O.; Barrio , Isabel C.; Ward , Alastair I.; Wheeler , Philip M.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract In recent decades in the UK, there has been an increasing trend in numbers of the European wild rabbit, a significant agricultural pest typically associated with grassland habitats. However, the relationship between rabbit abundance and grassland management, in particular grazing, has not been sufficiently explained. We studied rabbit densities in seven pasture-dominated sites in north-east England between autumn and spring in two consecutive years, and used generalised li...

  17. Vegetation changes over 12 years in ungrazed and grazed Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands in the central and southern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, Brian S.; Vandever, Mark W.; Allen, Arthur W.; Terrell, James W.

    2005-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) established under the 1985 Food Security Act has the fundamental objectives of jointly providing economic support to segments of the agricultural community and conservation of natural resources (Osborn, 1997; Heard and others, 2000). Although soil loss on highly erodable lands was the principal natural resource conservation issue addressed in the 1985 CRP, improving water quality and wildlife habitat both became important considerations as the program evolved (Farmer and others, 1988). For example, Best and others (1997) found that production of young birds on CRP fields in the Midwest was ≥15 times the production on row-crop fields because of improved habitat. The increasing importance of wildlife habitat is reflected in continuing refinement of the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to quantify the potential benefits of enrolling lands in CRP (Osborn, 1997; Ribaudo and others, 2001). The refinements reflect input furnished by federal, state, and non-government organizations seeking greater wildlife habitat quality on CRP lands (Roseberry and David, 1994; Hughes and others, 1995; Millenbah and others, 1996; Patterson and Best, 1996; Rodgers, 1999; Allen and others, 2001).Refinement in the EBI has changed the types of grasses planted on newly enrolled land. In early CRP signups (1 through 11), 71% of new grassland acres were planted to introduced grasses and legumes [Conservation Practice (CP) 1] while 29% of the acres were planted to native grasses (CP2) (Osborn and others, 1992). By the 27th signup in July 2004, over 34.8 million acres (14 million ha) were enrolled in the CRP. More than 73% of these lands were planted to various mixtures of introduced (CP1) or native (CP2) grasses for a minimal contract period of 10 years (USDA, 2004). Continuation of grass plantings under the 2002 Farm Bill may result in CRP lands furnishing grass dominated cover for 20 or more consecutive

  18. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities differ in their species composition, and, thus, also in their functional trait composition, at different stages in the succession from arable fields to grazed grassland. We examine whether aerial hyperspectral (414–2501 nm remote sensing can be used to discriminate between grazed vegetation belonging to different grassland successional stages. Vascular plant species were recorded in 104.1 m2 plots on the island of Öland (Sweden and the functional properties of the plant species recorded in the plots were characterized in terms of the ground-cover of grasses, specific leaf area and Ellenberg indicator values. Plots were assigned to three different grassland age-classes, representing 5–15, 16–50 and >50 years of grazing management. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models were used to compare classifications based on aerial hyperspectral data with the age-class classification. The remote sensing data successfully classified the plots into age-classes: the overall classification accuracy was higher for a model based on a pre-selected set of wavebands (85%, Kappa statistic value = 0.77 than one using the full set of wavebands (77%, Kappa statistic value = 0.65. Our results show that nutrient availability and grass cover differences between grassland age-classes are detectable by spectral imaging. These techniques may potentially be used for mapping the spatial distribution of grassland habitats at different successional stages.

  19. Hawaii ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...

  20. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  1. DESERTIFICATION AND ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY IN THE DESERT GRASSLANDS OF NORTH AMERICA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of breeding birds and small mammals were conducted at a series of sites that form a gradient of severity of desertification. Desert grassland sites represented the least changed landscape units and mesquite coppice dunes represented the most severe degradtion, an irrevers...

  2. Effects of drought and prolonged winter on Townsend's ground squirrel demography in shrubsteppe habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horne, Beatrice; Olson, Gail S.; Schooley, Robert L.; Corn, Janelle G.; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    1997-01-01

    During a mark–recapture study of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) on 20 sites in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Idaho, in 1991 through 1994, 4407 animals were marked in 17639 capture events. This study of differences in population dynamics of Townsend's ground squirrels among habitats spanned a drought near the extreme of the 130-yr record, followed by prolonged winter conditions.Townsend's ground squirrels have a short active season (≈4 mo) in which to reproduce and store fat for overwintering. Their food consists largely of succulent grasses and forbs in this dry shrubsteppe and grassland habitat. The drought in the latter half of the 1992 active season produced early drying of Sandberg's bluegrass (Poa secunda) and was associated with low adult and juvenile body masses prior to immergence into estivation/hibernation. The following prolonged winter was associated with late emergence of females in 1993. Early-season body masses of adults were low in 1993 relative to 1992, whereas percentage of body fat in males was relatively high. These weather patterns in spring 1992 and winter 1993 also resulted in reduced adult persistence through the ≈7-mo inactive period, especially for adult females, and near-zero persistence of >1200 juveniles. Consequently, densities of Townsend's ground squirrels across the 20 livetrap sites declined.The demographic effects of drought and prolonged winter lasted at least through the subsequent breeding season. Adult females that survived these weather extremes produced fewer emergent young per female than did adult females prior to the event. Prior to the drought/prolonged winter, yearling female body masses were higher than, or indistinguishable from, those of adults. Females produced in 1993 had lower body masses as yearlings than did adult females.Demographic response to the drought and prolonged winter varied with habitat; ground squirrels in sagebrush habitat showed less decline

  3. Traditional cattle grazing in a mosaic alkali landscape: effects on grassland biodiversity along a moisture gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

    Full Text Available Extensively managed pastures are of crucial importance in sustaining biodiversity both in local- and landscape-level. Thus, re-introduction of traditional grazing management is a crucial issue in grassland conservation actions worldwide. Traditional grazing with robust cattle breeds in low stocking rates is considered to be especially useful to mimic natural grazing regimes, but well documented case-studies are surprisingly rare on this topic. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of traditional Hungarian Grey cattle grazing as a conservation action in a mosaic alkali landscape. We asked the following questions: (i How does cattle grazing affect species composition and diversity of the grasslands? (ii What are the effects of grazing on short-lived and perennial noxious species? (iii Are there distinct effects of grazing in dry-, mesophilous- and wet grassland types? Vegetation of fenced and grazed plots in a 200-ha sized habitat complex (secondary dry grasslands and pristine mesophilous- and wet alkali grasslands was sampled from 2006-2009 in East-Hungary. We found higher diversity scores in grazed plots compared to fenced ones in mesophilous- and wet grasslands. Higher cover of noxious species was typical in fenced plots compared to their grazed counterparts in the last year in every studied grassland type. We found an increasing effect of grazing from the dry- towards the wet grassland types. The year-to-year differences also followed similar pattern: the site-dependent effects were the lowest in the dry grassland and an increasing effect was detected along the moisture gradient. We found that extensive Hungarian Grey cattle grazing is an effective tool to suppress noxious species and to create a mosaic vegetation structure, which enables to maintain high species richness in the landscape. Hungarian Grey cattle can feed in open habitats along long moisture gradient, thus in highly mosaic landscapes this breed can be the most suitable

  4. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus; Marcia Suelí Bohn; Maria Virginia Petry

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland e...

  5. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...

  6. Using radar to advance migratory bird management: An interagency collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sojda, R.; Ruth, J.M.; Barrow, W.C.; Dawson, D.K.; Diehl, R.H.; Manville, A.; Green, M.T.; Krueper, D.J.; Johnston, S.

    2005-01-01

    Migratory birds face many changes to the landscapes they traverse and the habitats they use. Wind turbines and communications towers, which pose hazards to birds and bats in flight, are being erected across the United States and offshore. Human activities can also destroy or threaten habitats critical to birds during migratory passage, and climate change appears to be altering migratory patterns. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other agencies are under increasing pressure to identify and evaluate movement patterns and habitats used during migration and other times.

  7. Effects of habitat structure and altitudinal gradients on avian species ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... effect on bird species diversity. Bird species diversity increased with increase in tree height. A significant decline in bird species diversity with increased number of trees and canopy cover was noted. This result probably suggests an accumulation of forest edge species and generalist species in the less forested habitat.

  8. Genetic Evidence for Contrasting Wetland and Savannah Habitat Specializations in Different Populations of Lions (Panthera leo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Andy E; Cotterill, Fenton P D Woody; Winterbach, Christiaan W; Winterbach, Hanlie E K; Antunes, Agostinho; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2016-03-01

    South-central Africa is characterized by an archipelago of wetlands, which has evolved in time and space since at least the Miocene, providing refugia for animal species during Pleistocene arid episodes. Their importance for biodiversity in the region is reflected in the evolution of a variety of specialist mammal and bird species, adapted to exploit these wetland habitats. Populations of lions (Panthera leo) across south-central and east Africa have contrasting signatures of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and biparental nuclear DNA in wetland and savannah habitats, respectively, pointing to the evolution of distinct habitat preferences. This explains the absence of genetic admixture of populations from the Kalahari savannah of southwest Botswana and the Okavango wetland of northern Botswana, despite separation by only 500 km. We postulate that ancestral lions were wetland specialists and that the savannah lions evolved from populations that were isolated during arid Pleistocene episodes. Expansion of grasslands and the resultant increase in herbivore populations during mesic Pleistocene climatic episodes provided the stimulus for the rapid population expansion and diversification of the highly successful savannah lion specialists. Our model has important implications for lion conservation. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Matrix matters: differences of grand skink metapopulation parameters in native tussock grasslands and exotic pasture grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstanze Gebauer

    Full Text Available Modelling metapopulation dynamics is a potentially very powerful tool for conservation biologists. In recent years, scientists have broadened the range of variables incorporated into metapopulation modelling from using almost exclusively habitat patch size and isolation, to the inclusion of attributes of the matrix and habitat patch quality. We investigated the influence of habitat patch and matrix characteristics on the metapopulation parameters of a highly endangered lizard species, the New Zealand endemic grand skink (Oligosoma grande taking into account incomplete detectability. The predictive ability of the developed zxmetapopulation model was assessed through cross-validation of the data and with an independent data-set. Grand skinks occur on scattered rock-outcrops surrounded by indigenous tussock (bunch and pasture grasslands therefore implying a metapopulation structure. We found that the type of matrix surrounding the habitat patch was equally as important as the size of habitat patch for estimating occupancy, colonisation and extinction probabilities. Additionally, the type of matrix was more important than the physical distance between habitat patches for colonisation probabilities. Detection probability differed between habitat patches in the two matrix types and between habitat patches with different attributes such as habitat patch composition and abundance of vegetation on the outcrop. The developed metapopulation models can now be used for management decisions on area protection, monitoring, and the selection of translocation sites for the grand skink. Our study showed that it is important to incorporate not only habitat patch size and distance between habitat patches, but also those matrix type and habitat patch attributes which are vital in the ecology of the target species.

  10. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius ...

  11. Habitat edge, land management, and rates of brood parasitism in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Michael A; Shochat, Eyal; Reinking, Dan L; Wolfe, Donald H; Sherrod, Steve K

    2006-04-01

    Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had substantial negative impacts on many passerine hosts. Using a novel application of regression trees, we analyzed an extensive five-year set of nest data to test how management of tallgrass prairie affected rates of brood parasitism. We examined seven landscape features that may have been associated with parasitism: presence of edge, burning, or grazing, and distance of the nest from woody vegetation, water, roads, or fences. All five grassland passerines that we included in the analyses exhibited evidence of an edge effect: the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). The edge was represented by narrow strips of woody vegetation occurring along roadsides cut through tallgrass prairie. The sparrows avoided nesting along these woody edges, whereas the other three species experienced significantly higher (1.9-5.3x) rates of parasitism along edges than in prairie. The edge effect could be related directly to increase in parasitism rate with decreased distance from woody vegetation. After accounting for edge effect in these three species, we found evidence for significantly higher (2.5-10.5x) rates of parasitism in grazed plots, particularly those burned in spring to increase forage, than in undisturbed prairie. Regression tree analysis proved to be an important tool for hierarchically parsing various landscape features that affect parasitism rates. We conclude that, on the Great Plains, rates of brood parasitism are strongly associated with relatively recent road cuts

  12. Effects of Wind Energy Development on Nesting Ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens in Fragmented Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-01-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before–after control–impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = −1.2–1.3) or nest survival (β = −0.3, 95% CI = −0.6–0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. Efectos del Desarrollo de la Energía Eólica sobre la Ecología de Anidación de Gallinas de la Gran Pradera en Pastizales Fragmentados Resumen Se calcula que la energía eólica aportará el 20% de las necesidades energéticas de los Estados Unidos para el 2030, pero nuevos sitios para el desarrollo de energía renovable pueden traslaparse con hábitats importantes de poblaciones declinantes de aves de pastizal. La gallina de la Gran Pradera (Tympanuchus cupido) es una especie de ave obligada de pastizal que se pronostica responderá negativamente al desarrollo energético. Usamos un diseño ADCI modificado para probar los impactos del desarrollo de la energía e

  13. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  14. Bird Use of Imperial Valley Crops [ds427

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — Agriculture crops in the Imperial Valley of California provide valuable habitat for many resident and migratory birds and are a very important component of the...

  15. Impact of estuarine pollution on birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blus, L.J.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Kerwin, J.A.; Stendell, R.C.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Stickel, L.F.

    1977-01-01

    Pollution of estuaries affects bird populations indirectly through changes in habitat and food supply. The multi-factor pollution of Chesapeake Bay has resulted in diminution of submerged aquatic plants and consequent change in food habits of the canvasback duck. Although dredge-spoil operations can improve wildlife habitat, they often result in its demise. Pollution of estuaries also affects birds directly, through chemical toxication, which may result in outright mortality or in reproductive impairment. Lead from industrial sources and roadways enters the estuaries and is accumulated in tissues of birds. Lead pellets deposited in estuaries as a result of hunting are consumed by ducks with sufficient frequency .to result m large annual die-offs from lead poisoning. Fish in certain areas, usually near industrial sources, may contain levels of mercury high enough to be hazardous to birds that consume them. Other heavy metals are present in estuarine birds, but their significance is poorly known. Oil exerts lethal or sublethal effects on birds by oiling their feathers, oiling eggs and young by contaminated parents, and by ingestion of oil-contaminated food. Organochlorine chemicals, of both agricultural and industrial origin, travel through the food chains and reach harmful levels in susceptible species of birds in certain estuarine ecosystems. Both outright mortality and reproductive impairment have occurred.

  16. Status for investigations of birds and proposals for further investigations of birds in 2002 and 2003 for Horns Rev offshore wind farm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-09-01

    The purpose of the investigations of birds is to establish a knowledge and data base that can make possible to enlighten the extent and character of potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on the birds. The potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on birds include: a) modification of the habitat, b) collision effects, and c) disturbances. (BA)

  17. Birds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.

    2006-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are present throughout the global environment and are produced naturally and by activities of humans. Effects of PAH on birds have been determined by studies employing egg injection, egg immersion, egg shell application, single and multiple oral doses, subcutaneous injection, and chemical analysis of field-collected eggs and tissue. The four-to six-ring aromatic compounds are the most toxic to embryos, young birds, and adult birds. For embryos, effects include death, developmental abnormalities, and a variety of cellular and biochemical responses. For adult and young birds, effects include reduced egg production and hatching, increased clutch or brood abandonment, reduced growth, increased organweights, and a variety of biochemical responses. Trophic level accumulation is unlikely. Environmental exposure to PAH in areas of high human population or habitats affected by recent petroleum spills might be sufficient to adversely affect reproduction. Evidence of long-term effects of elevated concentrations of environmental PAH on bird populations is very limited and the mechanisms of effect are unclear.

  18. Dry season diets of sympatric ungulates in lowland Nepal: competition and facilitation in alluvial tall grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wegge, P.; Shrestha, A.K.; Moe, S.R.

    2006-01-01

    Based on microhistological analyses of faecal material, we compared the early dry season diets of greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis, swamp deer Cervus duvauceli and hog deer Axis porcinus, which inhabit the same alluvial grassland habitat complex in lowland Nepal. Their diets were

  19. A prototype application of state and transition simulation modeling in support of grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt Reeves; Paulette Ford; Leonardo Frid; David Augustine; Justin Derner

    2016-01-01

    The Great Plains grasslands of North America provide a multitude of ecosystem services including clean water, forage, habitat, recreation, and pollination of native and agricultural plants. A general lack of quantitative information regarding the effects of varied management strategies on these spatially heterogeneous landscapes complicates our understanding...

  20. The biological transport of radionuclides in grassland and freshwater ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudge, S.A.

    1989-12-01

    This thesis examines the biological transport of radionuclides through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with particular reference to radiocaesium. The semi-natural grassland habitat was located at Drigg, W. Cumbria, contaminated primarily by radioactive fallout, from several sources over the past decade. Advantage was made of the deposition of radionuclides from the Chernobyl reactor incident, which occurred during the early stages of the investigation. The study examined the distribution of radiocaesium for the major components of the grassland ecosystem, within the soil-plant-invertebrate-small mammal food chain. Data concerning temporal fluctuation of radionuclide transfer factors between food chain components are presented. The final section examines the spatial distribution of radiocaesium in sediment and the freshwater eel (Anguilla anguilla) in a small stream contaminated by radioactive effluent. The relationship between activity levels in eels and the sediments in which they rest and forage was investigated. Factors influencing uptake of radiocaesium in freshwater fish were also examined. (author)

  1. Regionalizing land use impacts on farmland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glemnitz, Michael; Zander, Peter; Stachow, Ulrich

    2015-06-01

    The environmental impacts of land use vary regionally. Differences in geomorphology, climate, landscape structure, and biotope inventories are regarded as the main causes of this variation. We present a methodological approach for identifying regional responses in land use type to large-scale changes and the implications for the provision of habitat for farmland birds. The methodological innovations of this approach are (i) the coupling of impact assessments with economic models, (ii) the linking of cropping techniques at the plot scale with the regional distribution of land use, and (iii) the integration of statistical or monitoring data on recent states. This approach allows for the regional differentiation of farmers' responses to changing external conditions and for matching the ecological impacts of land use changes with regional environmental sensitivities. An exemplary scenario analysis was applied for a case study of an area in Germany, assessing the impacts of increased irrigation and the promotion of energy cropping on farmland birds, evaluated as a core indicator for farmland biodiversity. The potential effects on farmland birds were analyzed based on the intrinsic habitat values of the crops and cropping techniques. The results revealed that the strongest decrease in habitat availability for farmland birds occurred in regions with medium-to-low agricultural yields. As a result of the limited cropping alternatives, the increase in maize production was highest in marginal regions for both examined scenarios. Maize production replaced many crops with good-to-medium habitat suitability for birds. The declines in habitat quality were strongest in regions that are not in focus for conservation efforts for farmland birds.

  2. The relations between forest fragmentation and bird community body size and biodiversity and bird community body size.

    OpenAIRE

    Hopman, F.

    2017-01-01

    Bachelor thesis Future Planet Studies, major biologie ABSTRACT Animal species with a larger body-size tend to have larger home ranges than small-bodied animals. Therefore it is likely that they are more affected by habitat fragmentation than small-bodied species. Body size of birds also seems to have a negative relation with species richness. This research has therefore looked into whether birds with a larger body-size are more sensitive to habitat fragmentation caused by forest...

  3. Effects of 10-Year Management Regimes on the Soil Seed Bank in Saline-Alkaline Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Hongyuan; Yang, Haoyu; Liang, Zhengwei; Ooi, Mark K. J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Management regimes for vegetation restoration of degraded grasslands can significantly affect the process of ecological succession. However, few studies have focused on variation in the soil seed bank during vegetation restoration under different management regimes, especially in saline-alkaline grassland habitats. Our aim was to provide insights into the ecological effects of grassland management regimes on soil seed bank composition and vegetation establishment in mown, fenced, transplanted and natural grassland sites, all dominated by the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis. Methodology We studied species composition and diversity in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation in differently managed grasslands in Northeast China. An NMDS (nonmetric multidimensional scaling) was used to evaluate the relationship between species composition, soil seed banks, aboveground vegetation and soil properties. Principal Findings Fenced and mown grassland sites had high density and species richness in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation. The Transplanted treatment exhibited the highest vegetation growth and seed production of the target species L. chinensis. Seeds of L. chinensis in the soil occurred only in transplanted and natural grassland. Based on the NMDS analysis, the number of species in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation were significantly related to soil Na+, Cl-, RSC (residual sodium carbonate), alkalinity, ESP (exchangeable sodium percentage) and AP (available phosphorus). Conclusions Soil seed bank composition and diversity in the saline-alkaline grassland were significantly affected by the management regimes implemented, and were also significantly related to the aboveground vegetation and several soil properties. Based on vegetative growth, reproductive output and maintenance of soil seed bank, the transplanting was identified as the most effective method for relatively rapid restoration of the target

  4. Conservation Priorities for Terrestrial Birds in the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth V. Rosenberg; Jeffrey V. Wells

    2005-01-01

    As part of the Partners in Flight (PIF) bird-conservation planning process, we assessed breeding land bird species according to seven categories of population vulnerability to derive a priority species pool in each of 12 physiographic areas that overlap the northeastern U.S. We then grouped species into the following habitat-species suites: (1) boreal-mountaintop...

  5. Environmental acoustics and the evolution of bird song

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brumm, H.; Naguib, M.

    2009-01-01

    Any signal must get from a sender to a receiver if information is to be transmitted. In the case of bird song, the acoustic properties of the habitat may hinder this being achieved. However, birds as senders and receivers have evolved numerous adaptations to overcome the problem of getting the

  6. Passerine bird communities of Iberian dehesas: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tellería, J. L.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The Iberian dehesas are a man-made habitat composed of scattered oaks (Quercus spp. and extensive grass cover occupying three million ha in south-western Iberia. This paper compares the structure of the passerine bird communities in this region with other bird assemblages of Iberian woodlands. Although forest bird numbers in the southern half of the Iberian peninsula are decreasing, the dehesas show the highest richness in breeding birds, seemingly as the result of the increased presence of border and open-habitat birds. A low intra-habitat turnover of species was observed in the dehesas, with birds recorded at a sampling point accounting for a high percentage of the total richness of the community. This can be related to the low spatial patchiness of this habitat. In winter, the dehesas continued to maintain many bird species, but showed bird densities similar to other woodlands. This pattern, as well as the scarcity of some common forest passerines during the breeding period, could result from the removal of the shrub layer typical of Mediterranean woodlands.

  7. Aspects of population dynamics and feeding by piscivorous birds in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Breaching events were associated with a change in feeding groups from waders to pursuit feeders, and a decrease in total bird numbers, most likely due to loss of potential littoral zone foraging habitat for waders resulting from reduced water levels. The highest bird numbers were recorded in winter reflecting the migration of ...

  8. Nest Site Characteristics of Cavity Nesting Birds in Central Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery D. Brawn; Bernice Tannenbaum; Keith E. Evans

    1984-01-01

    Two study sites in central Missouri oak-hickory forests were searched for nest sites of cavity nesting birds. Researchers located and measured 133 nests of 11 species. Cavity nesting bird habitat selection is affected by both snag characteristics and vegetation structure.

  9. A field protocol to monitor cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Dudley; V. Saab

    2003-01-01

    We developed a field protocol to monitor populations of cavity-nesting birds in burned and unburned coniferous forests of western North America. Standardized field methods are described for implementing long-term monitoring strategies and for conducting field research to evaluate the effects of habitat change on cavity-nesting birds. Key references (but not...

  10. Feeding behaviour of birds foraging on predictable resources in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The behaviour of birds in response to time of day was affected by temperature, as there was no difference between GUDs in open and covered habitats in the mornings at lower temperatures, but lower GUDs were recorded in cover (at higher temperatures) in the afternoon when birds may — due to thermoregulatory costs ...

  11. Bird checklist, Guánica Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne J. Arendt; John Faaborg; Miguel Canals; Jerry Bauer

    2015-01-01

    This research note compiles 43 years of research and monitoring data to produce the first comprehensive checklist of the dry forest avian community found within the Guánica Biosphere Reserve. We provide an overview of the reserve along with sighting locales, a list of 185 birds with their resident status and abundance, and a list of the available bird habitats....

  12. 9 CFR 93.104 - Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...

  13. Bird associations with shrubsteppe plant communities at the proposed reference repository location in southeastern Washington

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H.; Sargeant, G.A.

    1988-03-01

    This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs

  14. Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

  15. Effects of silviculture on neotropical migratory birds in central and southeastern oak pine forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. Dickson; Frank R. Thompson; Richard N. Conner; Kathleen E. Franzreb

    1993-01-01

    Avian communities that are associated with forest habitat attributes are affected by silvicultural and other stand influences. Some species have specific habitat requirements, whereas others occupy a broad range of vegetative conditions. In general, bird species richness and density are positively related to stand foliage volume and diversity. Bird density and...

  16. Natural cavity characteristics and cavity bird abundance on West Virginia forested islands of the Ohio River

    Science.gov (United States)

    James T. Anderson; Karen A. Riesz

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife habitats connected with forested islands and their back channels (areas where commercial traffic is prohibited) on the Ohio River are valuable to diverse species. However, quantitative data on the importance of these areas to cavity-nesting birds are lacking. We compared cavity-nesting bird use and habitat between back and navigational channel sides of islands...

  17. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  18. Effects of habitat composition on the use of resources by the red fox in a semi arid environment of North Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell'Arte, Graziella L.; Leonardi, Giovanni

    2005-09-01

    The red fox Vulpes vulpes is considered an opportunistic predator able to avoid prey shortages by exploiting a wide range of available food resources. However, as predicted by the Resources Dispersion Hypothesis (RDH), the distribution of other key resources such as suitable areas for dens can affect fox populations. Furthermore, in insularity conditions, resources are spatially limited and their availability is greatly influenced by territory sizes and the feeding habits of predators. In this paper we report the spatial use and foraging habits of foxes in three habitats (grassland, cultivation and suburban) of a sub-arid island off north Africa in relation to habitat composition and food availability. We found that diet composition in a gross sense did not differ significantly among habitats, with insects comprising > 48% and fruits 25% of the total prey items. Grasslands offered temporary clumped food resources (e.g. birds) that induced foxes to increase their territory sizes and to enlarge their diet range during prey shortages. Inversely, in cultivated and suburban areas, the main prey (insects) were more evenly distributed, especially in olive groves which constitute the most extensive form of cultivation on the island. In large areas covered by olive trees, the high availability of Coleoptera spp. significantly reduced core areas used by foxes and also distances among dens. Palm groves were patchy on the island but contained high densities of Orthoptera spp. and date fruits which represent alternative food sources. Thus, these patches are attractive foraging places, but a modification of the perimeter of fox territories was necessary for their exploitation. Our study confirmed that in this arid environment, habitat composition per se affected a generalist predator less than the dispersion of its main prey. In addition, the patchy distribution of resources can assume a role in the spacing and feeding behaviours of foxes only in relation to clumped alternative

  19. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contributions to wildlife habitat, management issues, challenges and policy choices--an annotated bibliography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Arthur W.; Vandever, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    The following bibliography presents brief summaries of documents relevant to Conservation Reserve Program relations to wildlife habitat, habitat management in agriculturally dominated landscapes, and conservation policies potentially affecting wildlife habitats in agricultural ecosystems. Because the literature summaries furnished provide only sweeping overviews, users are urged to obtain and evaluate those papers appearing useful to obtain a more complete understanding of study findings and their implications to conservation in agricultural ecosystems. The bibliography contains references to reports that reach beyond topics that directly relate to the Conservation Reserve Program. Sections addressing grassland management and landowner surveys/opinions, for example, furnish information useful for enhancing development and administration of conservation policies affecting lands beyond those enrolled in conservation programs. Some sections of the bibliography (for example, agricultural conservation policy, economics, soils) are far from inclusive of all relevant material written on the subject. Hopefully, these sections will serve as fundamental introductions to related issues. In a few instances, references may be presented in more than one section of the bibliography. For example, individual papers specifically addressing both non-game and game birds are included in respective sections of the bibliography. Duplication of citations and associated notes has, however, been kept to a minimum.

  20. Overseas seed dispersal by migratory birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viana, D.S.; Gangoso, L.; Bouten, W.; Figuerola, J.

    2016-01-01

    Long-distance dispersal (LDD) promotes the colonization of isolated and remote habitats, and thus it has been proposed as a mechanism for explaining the distributions of many species. Birds are key LDD vectors for many sessile organisms such as plants, yet LDD beyond local and regional scales has

  1. Spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on a military training base in Northwest Germany (Münster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buchholz, Sascha

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on the military training area of Dorbaum near Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia was investigated. From 2002 to 2003 a total of 11,194 mature spiders from 141 species and 20 families was caught by pitfall trapping and hand sampling. Among them are 18 species listed in the Red Data Book of North Rhine-Westphalia, four species are rare or previously rarely recorded. Most of the spiders are habitat generalists that extend their occurrence into all types of habitats, while the number of species which are stenotopic to sand habitats is noticeably low (n = 13. The spider data were analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA. It is possible to distinguish spider communities of neighbouring forested habitats from species groups of open habitats, but there is no uniform spider community which is characteristic for semi-dry grassland.

  2. Effect of urbanization on bird community in riparian environments in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Brummelhaus, Jaqueline; Bohn, Márcia Sueli; Petry, Maria Virginia

    2012-01-01

    http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n2p81 Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which respond differently to impacts. We compare richness, abundance and composition of birds in riparian environments with different urbanization gradients in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul. We conducted observations in woodland, grassland and urban environments, between September/2007 and August/2008. We recorded 130 bird species, 29...

  3. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  4. The New York State Bird Conservation Area (BCA) Program: A Model for the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. F. Burger; D. J. Adams; T. Post; L. Sommers; B. Swift

    2005-01-01

    The New York State Bird Conservation Area (BCA) Program, modeled after the National Audubon Society?s Important Bird Areas Program, is based on legislation signed by Governor Pataki in 1997. New York is the first state in the nation to enact such a program. The BCA Program seeks to provide a comprehensive, ecosystem approach to conserving birds and their habitats on...

  5. Important bird areas of the Madrean Archipelago: A conservation strategy for avian communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vashti (Tice) Supplee; Jennie MacFarland

    2013-01-01

    The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a worldwide program through BirdLife International that identifies sites considered to provide important habitats for avian species. Criteria for designation are species abundance, diversity, and range restriction. As the United States Partner of BirdLife International, the National Audubon Society administers the IBA Program...

  6. Bird foraging on incense-cedar and incense-cedar scale during winter in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael L. Morrison; Donald L. Dahlsten; Susan M. Tait; Robert C. Heald; Kathleen A. Milne; David L. Rowney

    1989-01-01

    Seasonal differences in use of food and habitat have been shown for numerous bird species. Especially during winter, when insect food is often at its lowest availability, birds may be unable to secure enough food for survival. In earlier work in the mixed-conifer zone of the western Sierra Nevada (Blodgett Forest, El Dorado County), observers found that many birds...

  7. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  8. Scope and profoundness of environmental assessments. A study in the frame of environmental impact assessments. Strategic environmental assessment and FFH (fauna-flora-habitat) impact assessment under specific consideration of the conflict wind energy - bird protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erb, Mareen

    2013-01-01

    The legal background of environmental impact assessments and the principle regulations and guidelines for this assessment are shortly summarized. The following Issues are discussed in detail: fundamentals of environmental assessments, profoundness and scope in environmental assessments; the conflict wind energy parks and birds.

  9. Bird communities of gambel oak: a descriptive analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreas Leidolf; Michael L. Wolfe; Rosemary L. Pendleton

    2000-01-01

    Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nutt.) covers 3.75 million hectares (9.3 million acres) of the western United States. This report synthesizes current knowledge on the composition, structure, and habitat relationships of gambel oak avian communities. It lists life history attributes of 183 bird species documented from gambel oak habitats of the western...

  10. Understanding the stopover of migratory birds: a scale dependent approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank R. Moore; Mark S. Woodrey; Jeffrey J. Buler; Stefan Woltmann; Ted R. Simons

    2005-01-01

    The development of comprehensive conservation strategies and management plans for migratory birds depends on understanding migrant-habitat relations throughout the annual cycle, including the time when migrants stopover en route. Yet, the complexity of migration makes the assessment of habitat requirements and development of a comprehensive...

  11. Birds of Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GEORGI STOYANOV

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The work is based mainly on personal field studies of the authors during different periods of time from the beginning of the 1980s until present. As a result, the Park's species list is extended to 208 bird species, 131 of them nesting in the mountain. We report 23 species for the first time for the Park's area. Analyses of proportion of species distribution among 13 habitat types revealed several patterns: 1 forest habitats held more species than expected; 2 number of species that nested in 1, 2 or 3 habitats was higher than expected; 3 proportion of species, that nested in 1, 2 or 3 habitats was higher in rock habitats, mountain pastures and running waters, and lower in broadleaf plantations.

  12. Present and future thermal environments available to Sharp-tailed Grouse in an intact grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Raynor

    Full Text Available Better understanding animal ecology in terms of thermal habitat use has become a focus of ecological studies, in large part due to the predicted temperature increases associated with global climate change. To further our knowledge on how ground-nesting endotherms respond to thermal landscapes, we examined the thermal ecology of Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus during the nesting period. We measured site-specific iButton temperatures (TiB and vegetation characteristics at nest sites, nearby random sites, and landscape sites to assess thermal patterns at scales relevant to nesting birds. We asked if microhabitat vegetation characteristics at nest sites matched the characteristics that directed macrohabitat nest-site selection. Grouse selected sites sheltered by dense vegetation for nesting that moderated TiB on average up to 2.7°C more than available landscape sites. Successful nests were positioned in a way that reduced exposure to thermal extremes by as much as 4°C relative to failed nests with an overall mean daytime difference (±SE of 0.4 ±0.03°C. We found that macrohabitat nest-site selection was guided by dense vegetation cover and minimal bare ground as also seen at the microhabitat scale. Global climate projections for 2080 suggest that TiB at nest sites may approach temperatures currently avoided on the landscape, emphasizing a need for future conservation plans that acknowledge fine-scale thermal space in climate change scenarios. These data show that features of grassland landscapes can buffer organisms from unfavorable microclimatic conditions and highlight how thermal heterogeneity at the individual-level can drive decisions guiding nest site selection.

  13. Present and future thermal environments available to Sharp-tailed Grouse in an intact grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raynor, Edward J; Powell, Larkin A; Schacht, Walter H

    2018-01-01

    Better understanding animal ecology in terms of thermal habitat use has become a focus of ecological studies, in large part due to the predicted temperature increases associated with global climate change. To further our knowledge on how ground-nesting endotherms respond to thermal landscapes, we examined the thermal ecology of Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) during the nesting period. We measured site-specific iButton temperatures (TiB) and vegetation characteristics at nest sites, nearby random sites, and landscape sites to assess thermal patterns at scales relevant to nesting birds. We asked if microhabitat vegetation characteristics at nest sites matched the characteristics that directed macrohabitat nest-site selection. Grouse selected sites sheltered by dense vegetation for nesting that moderated TiB on average up to 2.7°C more than available landscape sites. Successful nests were positioned in a way that reduced exposure to thermal extremes by as much as 4°C relative to failed nests with an overall mean daytime difference (±SE) of 0.4 ±0.03°C. We found that macrohabitat nest-site selection was guided by dense vegetation cover and minimal bare ground as also seen at the microhabitat scale. Global climate projections for 2080 suggest that TiB at nest sites may approach temperatures currently avoided on the landscape, emphasizing a need for future conservation plans that acknowledge fine-scale thermal space in climate change scenarios. These data show that features of grassland landscapes can buffer organisms from unfavorable microclimatic conditions and highlight how thermal heterogeneity at the individual-level can drive decisions guiding nest site selection.

  14. Real-Time Water Quality Management in the Grassland Water District

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Hanna, W. Mark; Hanlon, Jeremy S.; Burns, Josphine R.; Taylor, Christophe M.; Marciochi, Don; Lower, Scott; Woodruff, Veronica; Wright, Diane; Poole, Tim

    2004-12-10

    could be complemented with biological surveys of bird use and invertebrates to produce a robust long-term monitoring strategy for habitat health and sustainability.

  15. Species Diversity and Bird Feed in Residential Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadinoto; Suhesti, Eni

    2017-12-01

    Bird is one component of the ecosystem which has an important role in supporting the occurrence of an organism's life cycle. Therefore, the presence of birds in an area is important, because it can affect the existence and distribution of plant species. The purpose of this study is to calculate the diversity of bird species and identify the source of bird feed in the compound. This study was conducted by field surveys in the residential complex. In addition to the birds as a research object vegetation as habitat / foraging birds were also observed. Data were analyzed by using the bird diversity index, richenes index, bundance index, dominance analysis, analysis of bird distribution and analysis of the level of meeting types, while vegetation will be analyzed based on the type and part of what is eaten by birds. In Pandau Jaya housing complex, found as many as 12 species of birds which consists of seven families. Bird species often present is Cucak Kutilang (Pycnonotus aurigaster) of 20 individuals, Bondol Peking (Lonchura punctulata) 14 individuals and Perkutut Jawa (Geopelia striata) 10 individuals. Bird species diversity (H ‘) in Pandau Jaya housing complex is still relatively moderate with a value of 2.27, while the Evenness Index (E) of 0.91 and Richenes Index (R) of 2.45. Types of vegetation as a food source, among others: mango, guava, cherry, jackfruit, ketapang, coconut, areca, palm, banana, papaya, flowers and grasses.

  16. Adverse effectsof agricultaral intensification and climate change on breeding habitat quality of Blacktailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Kats, van R.J.M.; Melman, T.C.P.; Teunissen, W.A.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the

  17. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  18. The effect of the Sep wind park near Oosterbierum, Friesland, The Netherlands, on birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkelman, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    The title study concerns the period 1984-1991. The wind park consists of 18 three-bladed 300 kW horizontal axis wind turbines of 35 meters height, and a rotor diameter of 30 meters, seven meteorological towers, and three cluster and control buildings. Aspects studied included disturbance of breeding, resting or feeding, and migrating birds, behavior of birds approaching the wind turbines during the day and night, and bird victims due to collision with the wind turbines and the meteorological towers. In this report attention is paid to the disturbance of the bird's biotope. The results show that four species of grassland birds, breeding in the park, were hardly disturbed by the wind turbines. For feeding and resting birds, however, disturbance effects were noted, even at a distance of 500 meters from the outside wind turbine array. The present number of bird species reduced 60-95%, dependent on the species, after the wind park was put into operation. Also the behavior of migrating birds was influenced by the wind park, showed in clustering of groups or avoiding the wind park, sometimes up to 67% of the birds did so. It is therefore recommended not to implement new wind parks in important bird migration and bird feeding or bird resting areas. Bird popular areas, however, are mostly windy areas. 15 figs., 25 tabs., 56 app., 128 refs

  19. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems.

  20. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  1. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species’ ecological niches distances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  2. Overseas seed dispersal by migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viana, Duarte S; Gangoso, Laura; Bouten, Willem; Figuerola, Jordi

    2016-01-13

    Long-distance dispersal (LDD) promotes the colonization of isolated and remote habitats, and thus it has been proposed as a mechanism for explaining the distributions of many species. Birds are key LDD vectors for many sessile organisms such as plants, yet LDD beyond local and regional scales has never been directly observed nor quantified. By sampling birds caught while in migratory flight by GPS-tracked wild falcons, we show that migratory birds transport seeds over hundreds of kilometres and mediate dispersal from mainland to oceanic islands. Up to 1.2% of birds that reached a small island of the Canary Archipelago (Alegranza) during their migration from Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa carried seeds in their guts. The billions of birds making seasonal migrations each year may then transport millions of seeds. None of the plant species transported by the birds occurs in Alegranza and most do not occur on nearby Canary Islands, providing a direct example of the importance of environmental filters in hampering successful colonization by immigrant species. The constant propagule pressure generated by these LDD events might, nevertheless, explain the colonization of some islands. Hence, migratory birds can mediate rapid range expansion or shifts of many plant taxa and determine their distribution. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Plant species of Okhla Bird Sanctuary: a wetland of Upper Gangetic Plains, India [with erratum

    OpenAIRE

    Manral, Upma; Raha, Angshuman; Solanki, Ridhima; Hussain, Syed; Babu, Mattozbiyil; Mohan, Dhananjai; Veeraswami, Gopi; Sivakumar, K.; Talukdar, Gautam

    2013-01-01

    The Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS), a man-modified floodplain wetland having high human impact, is located in an urbanized landscape. Its location in the Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds makes it an ideal transit and wintering ground for birds. This paper describes the vegetation composition and significance of the Sanctuary as a bird habitat. A floristic survey was carried out from winter 2009 to spring 2010 while preparing a management plan for OBS. 192 species of plants belonging to 46 ...

  4. The distribution, abundance, and habitat preference of lovebirds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    2014-04-30

    Apr 30, 2014 ... Key words: Abundance, micro-habitat, preference, riparian, vegetation .... human interference and more food resources availability. In the month of May, June .... force birds to feed on areas of less quality because survival rate ...

  5. Evaluating the long-term management of introduced ungulates to protect the palila, an endangered bird, and its critical habitat in subalpine forest of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul C. Banko; Steven C. Hess; Paul G. Scowcroft; Chris Farmer; James D. Jacobi; Robert M. Stephens; Richard J. Camp; David L. Leonard; Kevin W. Brinck; J. O. Juvik; S. P. Juvik

    2014-01-01

    Under the multiple-use paradigm, conflicts may arise when protection of an endangered species must compete with other management objectives. To resolve such a conflict in the Critical Habitat of the endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper, palila (Loxioides bailleui), federal courts ordered the eradication of introduced ungulates responsible for damaging...

  6. Responses of nocturnal rodents to shrub encroachment in Banni grasslands, Gujarat, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayadevan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Shrub encroachment is one of the greatest threats to grasslands globally. These woodlands can strongly influence the behaviour of small mammals adapted to more open habitats, which rely on high visibility for early detection of predators. In semi-arid grasslands, rodents are considered keystone species. Although shrub encroachment is known to negatively affect rodent assemblages, its impact on the foraging behaviour of rodents, which is known to vary in response to risky situations, is unknown. Understanding whether shrub encroachment alters such antipredator behaviour is important as antipredator behaviour can alter the distribution, abundance and ultimately, survival of prey species. In this study, I explored the effects of shrub encroachment on the foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodent communities in the Banni grasslands, India. I examined foraging behaviour, quantified using the giving-up density (GUD) framework and the number of rodent crossings around food patches, in two habitats that differed in the extent of shrub encroachment. Under the GUD framework, the amount of food left behind by a forager in a food patch reflects the costs of feeding at the patch. Higher GUDs imply higher foraging costs. I also investigated how removal of an invasive woody plant, Prosopis juliflora would affect foraging behaviour of nocturnal rodents. High shrub encroachment was associated with higher foraging costs (higher GUDs) and lower activity than the sparsely wooded habitat, likely due to low visibility in the densely wooded habitat. The dense habitat also supported a higher richness and relative abundance of generalist rodents than the sparse habitat, likely due to the increased heterogeneity of the habitat. The tree removal experiment revealed that rodents had lower GUDs (i.e., low foraging costs) after the event of tree cutting. This may be due to the reduction of cover in the habitat, leading to higher visibility and lower predation risk. My results suggest that shrub

  7. Mine-associated wetlands as avian habitat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horstman, A.J.; Nawrot, J.R.; Woolf, A.

    1998-01-01

    Surveys for interior wetland birds at mine-associated emergent wetlands on coal surface mines in southern Illinois detected one state threatened and two state endangered species. Breeding by least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) and common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) was confirmed. Regional assessment of potential wetland bird habitat south of Illinois Interstate 64 identified a total of 8,109 ha of emergent stable water wetlands; 10% were associated with mining. Mine-associated wetlands with persistent hydrology and large expanses of emergent vegetation provide habitat that could potentially compensate for loss of natural wetlands in Illinois

  8. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

  9. Effect of urbanization on bird community in riparian environments in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n2p81 Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which respond differently to impacts. We compare richness, abundance and composition of birds in riparian environments with different urbanization gradients in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul. We conducted observations in woodland, grassland and urban environments, between September/2007 and August/2008. We recorded 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environments, including an endangered species: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed between woodland and urban environments (426 individuals in woodland, 721 in grassland and 939 in urban. Species composition and feeding guilds contributed significantly to differentiation of bird community structures in these three riparian environments. In open environments (grassland and urban we recorded more generalist feeding guilds and bird species, while in riparian woodland environments, we find guilds and species more sensitive to human impacts. Bird species may be biological quality indicators and contribute to natural economy. With the knowledge of bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to establish management practices for riparian restoration of degraded environments in the region.

  10. Global analysis of threat status reveals higher extinction risk in tropical than in temperate bird sister species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reif Jiří

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Given increasing pressures upon biodiversity, identification of species’ traits related to elevated extinction risk is useful for more efficient allocation of limited resources for nature conservation. Despite its need, such a global analysis was lacking in the case of birds. Therefore, we performed this exercise for avian sister species using information about their global extinction risk from IUCN Red List. We focused on 113 pairs of sister species, each containing a threatened and an unthreatened species to factor out the effects of common evolutionary history on the revealed relationship. We collected data on five traits with expected relationships to species’ extinction risk based on previous studies performed at regional or national levels: breeding habitat (recognizing forest, grassland, wetland and oceanic species, latitudinal range position (temperate and tropics species, migration strategy (migratory and resident species, diet (carnivorous, insectivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous species and body mass. We related the extinction risk using IUCN threat level categories to species’ traits using generalised linear mixed effects models expecting lower risk for forest, temperate, omnivorous and smaller-bodied species. Our expectation was confirmed only in the case of latitudinal range position, as we revealed higher threat level for tropical than for temperate species. This relationship was robust to different methods of threat level expression and cannot be explained by a simple association of high bird species richness with the tropical zone. Instead, it seems that tropical species are more threatened because of their intrinsic characteristics such as slow life histories, adaptations to stable environments and small geographic ranges. These characteristics are obviously disadvantageous in conditions of current human-induced environmental perturbations. Moreover, given the absence of habitat effects, our study indicates that such

  11. Edge Effects and Ecological Traps: Effects on Shrubland Birds in Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    April A. Woodward; Alix D. Fink; Frank R. Thompson III

    2001-01-01

    The effect of habitat edge on avian nesting success has been the focus of considerable debate. We studied relationships between habitat edges, locations of nests, and predation. We tested the ecological trap hypothesis for 5 shrubland bird species in the Missouri Ozarks. We compared habitat selection and daily nest predation rates among 3 distance-to-edge categories....

  12. Bee assemblage in habitats associated with Brassica napus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Halinski

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTAssessments in agricultural crops indicate that alterations in the landscape adjacent to the crops can result in reduced productivity due to loss or low abundance of pollinating agents. In the canola crop, production is partially dependent on insect pollination. Therefore, knowledge of the faunal diversity within and near crop fields is key for the management of these insects and consequently for the increase in productivity. This study aimed to determine and compare the diversity of bees in habitats associated with canola fields in southern Brazil. Bees were captured in four agricultural areas using pan traps in three habitat classes: (1 flowering canola crop, (2 forest remnant, and (3 grassland vegetation. The highest abundance of bees was observed in the grassland vegetation (50% and in the flowering canola field (47%. Eight species common to the three habitat classes were recorded, four of which are represented by native social bees. In addition, a single or a few individuals represented species that were exclusive to a specific habitat class; eight species were collected exclusively in the interior of the canola field, 51 in the grassland vegetation, and six in the forest remnant. The majority of the rare species recorded exhibits subsocial or solitary behaviour and inhabit open places. The composition of bee groups differed between the habitats showing the importance of maintaining habitat mosaics with friendly areas for pollinators, which promote the pollination service for canola flowers.

  13. Drug metabolism in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huo Ping; Fouts, James R.

    1979-01-01

    Papers published over 100 years since the beginning of the scientific study of drug metabolism in birds were reviewed. Birds were found to be able to accomplish more than 20 general biotransformation reactions in both functionalization and conjugation. Chickens were the primary subject of study but over 30 species of birds were used. Large species differences in drug metabolism exist between birds and mammals as well as between various birds, these differences were mostly quantitative. Qualitative differences were rare. On the whole, drug metabolism studies in birds have been neglected as compared with similar studies on insects and mammals. The uniqueness of birds and the advantages of using birds in drug metabolism studies are discussed. Possible future studies of drug metabolism in birds are recommended.

  14. Not seeing the grass for the trees: Timber plantations and agriculture shrink tropical montane grassland by two-thirds over four decades in the Palani Hills, a Western Ghats Sky Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasumani, M; Khan, Danish; Das, Arundhati; Lockwood, Ian; Stewart, Robert; Kiran, Ravi A; Muthukumar, M; Bunyan, Milind; Robin, V V

    2018-01-01

    Tropical montane habitats, grasslands, in particular, merit urgent conservation attention owing to the disproportionate levels of endemic biodiversity they harbour, the ecosystem services they provide, and the fact that they are among the most threatened habitats globally. The Shola Sky Islands in the Western Ghats host a matrix of native forest-grassland matrix that has been planted over the last century, with exotic timber plantations. The popular discourse on the landscape change is that mainly forests have been lost to the timber plantations and recent court directives are to restore Shola forest trees. In this study, we examine spatiotemporal patterns of landscape change over the last 40 years in the Palani Hills, a significant part of the montane habitat in the Western Ghats. Using satellite imagery and field surveys, we find that 66% of native grasslands and 31% of native forests have been lost over the last 40 years. Grasslands have gone from being the dominant, most contiguous land cover to one of the rarest and most fragmented. They have been replaced by timber plantations and, to a lesser extent, expanding agriculture. We find that the spatial pattern of grassland loss to plantations differs from the loss to agriculture, likely driven by the invasion of plantation species into grasslands. We identify remnant grasslands that should be prioritised for conservation and make specific recommendations for conservation and restoration of grasslands in light of current management policy in the Palani Hills, which favours large-scale removal of plantations and emphasises the restoration of native forests.

  15. Habitat use of the Louisiana Waterthrush during the non-breeding season in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.T. Hallworth; L.R. Reitsma; K. Parent

    2011-01-01

    We used radiotelemetry to quantify habitat and spatial use patterns of neighboring Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) along two streams in the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico during 2005–2007. Home range sizes varied with younger birds having larger home ranges and core areas than older birds. All birds occupied some length of stream but a wide range...

  16. Vegetation in clear-cuts depends on previous land use: a century-old grassland legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonason, Dennis; Ibbe, Mathias; Milberg, Per; Tunér, Albert; Westerberg, Lars; Bergman, Karl-Olof

    2014-01-01

    Plant species richness in central and northern European seminatural grasslands is often more closely linked to past than present habitat configuration, which is indicative of an extinction debt. In this study, we investigate whether signs of historical grassland management can be found in clear-cuts after at least 80 years as coniferous production forest by comparing floras between clear-cuts with a history as meadow and as forest in the 1870s in Sweden. Study sites were selected using old land-use maps and data on present-day clear-cuts. Species traits reflecting high capacities for dispersal and persistence were used to explain any possible links between the plants and the historical land use. Clear-cuts that were formerly meadow had, on average, 36% higher species richness and 35% higher richness of grassland indicator species, as well as a larger overall seed mass and lower anemochory, compared to clear-cuts with history as forest. We suggest that the plants in former meadows never disappeared after afforestation but survived as remnant populations. Many contemporary forests in Sweden were managed as grasslands in the 1800s. As conservation of remaining grassland fragments will not be enough to reduce the existing extinction debts of the flora, these young forests offer opportunities for grassland restoration at large scales. Our study supports the concept of remnant populations and highlights the importance of considering historical land use for understanding the distribution of grassland plant species in fragmented landscapes, as well as for policy-making and conservation. PMID:25540690

  17. Cross-species transmission and emergence of novel viruses from birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jasper Fuk-Woo; To, Kelvin Kai-Wang; Chen, Honglin; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2015-02-01

    Birds, the only living member of the Dinosauria clade, are flying warm-blooded vertebrates displaying high species biodiversity, roosting and migratory behavior, and a unique adaptive immune system. Birds provide the natural reservoir for numerous viral species and therefore gene source for evolution, emergence and dissemination of novel viruses. The intrusions of human into natural habitats of wild birds, the domestication of wild birds as pets or racing birds, and the increasing poultry consumption by human have facilitated avian viruses to cross species barriers to cause zoonosis. Recently, a novel adenovirus was exclusively found in birds causing an outbreak of Chlamydophila psittaci infection among birds and humans. Instead of being the primary cause of an outbreak by jumping directly from bird to human, a novel avian virus can be an augmenter of another zoonotic agent causing the outbreak. A comprehensive avian virome will improve our understanding of birds' evolutionary dynamics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Status for investigations of birds and proposals for further investigations of birds in 2002 and 2003 for Horns Rev offshore wind farm; Status for fugleundersoegelser samt forslag til opfoelgende fugleundersoegelser i 2002 og 2003 for Horns Rev vindmoellepark

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-09-15

    The purpose of the investigations of birds is to establish a knowledge and data base that can make possible to enlighten the extent and character of potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on the birds. The potential influences the offshore wind farm might have on birds include: a) modification of the habitat, b) collision effects, and c) disturbances. (BA)

  19. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    increasing grassland quantity and connectivity throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, offsetting loss of grassland since the 1950s, abundance and occupied range of lesser prairie-chickens has declined since the 1980s, suggesting that habitat quality is the principal factor influencing population demography of the species. Although the CRP is contributing to conservation actions for lesser prairie-chickens, efforts to improve habitat quality throughout the range of the lesser prairie-chicken are likely necessary to meet management goals. Continuation of the CRP faces an uncertain future in the face of rising commodity prices, energy development, and reduction in program scope, leaving open the possibility that these areas that have created habitat for lesser prairie-chickens could be lost.

  20. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    in increasing grassland quantity and connectivity throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, offsetting loss of grassland since the 1950s, abundance and occupied range of lesser prairie-chickens has declined since the 1980s, suggesting that habitat quality is the principal factor influencing population demography of the species. Although the CRP is contributing to conservation actions for lesser prairie-chickens, efforts to improve habitat quality throughout the range of the lesser prairie-chicken are likely necessary to meet management goals. Continuation of the CRP faces an uncertain future in the face of rising commodity prices, energy development, and reduction in program scope, leaving open the possibility that these areas that have created habitat for lesser prairie-chickens could be lost.

  1. Advancing migratory bird conservation and management by using radar: An interagency collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Sojda, Richard S.; Dawson, Deanna K.; Diehl, Robert H.; Manville, Albert; Green, Michael T.; Krueper, David J.; Johnston, Scott

    2005-01-01

    Migratory birds face many changes to the landscapes they traverse and the habitats they use. Wind turbines and communications towers, which pose hazards to birds and bats in flight, are being erected or proposed across the United States and offshore. Human activities can also destroy or threaten habitats critical to birds during migratory passage, and climate change appears to be altering migratory patterns. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other agencies are under increasing pressure to identify and evaluate movement patterns and habitats used during migration and other times.

  2. The Significance of Mating System and Nonbreeding Behavior to Population and Forest Patch Use by Migrant Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugene S. Morton; Bridget J. M. Stutchbury

    2005-01-01

    Migratory birds are birds of two worlds, breeding in the temperate zone then living as tropical birds for most of the year. We show two aspects of this unique biology that are important considerations for their conservation. First, habitat selection for breeding must include their need for extra-pair mating opportunities. Second, non-breeding distributions in tropical...

  3. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  4. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

  5. Studying wind power-bird interactions during the next decade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holder, M. [TransAlta Wind, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation described TransAlta's ongoing study of wind power and bird interactions, and outlined the company's plans for the future. The deaths of large birds were noticed by the public as well as by the operators of wind farms built in response to the energy crisis of the 1970s. Post-construction casualty monitoring was established in 1994 in order to understand the direct effects of wind power projects on birds as well as to amass data and identify the broader issues affecting bird mortalities. Increased regulatory rigour led to a further clarification of the techniques used to monitor bird deaths. A study of the amassed data demonstrated that birds were not being killed in large numbers, but that common bird species in a given area were the most common casualties observed at wind farms. Particular species were not predisposed to be at risk. Significant declines in bird species have been noted in Canada, and many population declines have occurred in species located in landscapes well-suited for wind farms. The declines have meant that more scrutiny is placed on wind development projects and their potential cumulative effect. The direct effects of wind turbines on birds are not yet well-understood. The requirements for pre- and post-construction data collection must be reviewed and amended. Future studies will consider bird casualties as well as habitat and behavioural changes. tabs., figs.

  6. Behavioral responses of birds of prey to large scale energy development in southcentral Washington

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fitzner, R.E.

    1985-02-01

    The types of raptorial and semi-raptorial birds that use the Hanford environs are discussed along with the impacts of past operations and the recent WPPSS project on their populations. These findings add to our understanding of the population dynamics of the birds of prey community at the Hanford Site and the expected impacts of the WPPSS energy facilities. The results may have implications toward other large scale energy facilities, and may aid us in management of bird of prey communities throughout the grasslands of the western United States. 110 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs

  7. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Christopher C.; Rumble, Mark A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Klaver, Robert W.; Herman-Brunson, Katie M.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this region of their distribution. We evaluated factors influencing greater sage-grouse winter habitat use in North Dakota during 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 and in South Dakota during 2006–2007 and 2007–2008. We captured and radio-marked 97 breeding-age females and 54 breeding-age males from 2005 to 2007 and quantified habitat selection for 98 of these birds that were alive during winter. We collected habitat measurements at 340 (177 ND, 163 SD) sage-grouse use sites and 680 random (340 each at 250 m and 500 m from locations) dependent sites. Use sites differed from random sites with greater percent sagebrush cover (14.75% use vs. 7.29% random; P 2 use vs. 0.94 plants/m2 random; P ≤ 0.001), but lesser percent grass cover (11.76% use vs. 16.01% random; P ≤ 0.001) and litter cover (4.34% use vs. 5.55% random; P = 0.001) and lower sagebrush height (20.02 cm use vs. 21.35 cm random; P = 0.13) and grass height (21.47 cm use vs. 23.21 cm random; P = 0.15). We used conditional logistic regression to estimate winter habitat selection by sage-grouse on continuous scales. The model sagebrush cover + sagebrush height + sagebrush cover × sagebrush height (wi = 0.60) was the most supported of the 13 models we considered, indicating that percent sagebrush cover strongly influenced selection. Logistic odds ratios indicated that the probability of selection by sage-grouse increased by 1.867 for every 1% increase in sagebrush cover (95% CI = 1.627–2.141) and by 1.041 for every 1 cm increase in sagebrush height (95% CI = 1.002–1.082). The

  8. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  9. Habitat-induced degradation of sound signals: Quantifying the effects of communication sounds and bird location on blur ratio, excess attenuation, and signal-to-noise ratio in blackbird song

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dabelsteen, T.; Larsen, O N; Pedersen, Simon Boel

    1993-01-01

    measures were calculated from changes of the amplitude functions (i.e., envelopes) of the degraded songs using a new technique which allowed a compensation for the contribution of the background noise to the amplitude values. Representative songs were broadcast in a deciduous forest without leaves......The habitat-induced degradation of the full song of the blackbird (Turdus merula) was quantified by measuring excess attenuation, reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio, and blur ratio, the latter measure representing the degree of blurring of amplitude and frequency patterns over time. All three...

  10. Urban Marine Habitat Use by Waterbirds in Narragansett Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined patterns of habitat use by waterbirds (waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds) at a series of urban and non-urban marine habitats in Narragansett Bay during 2005-2007. Average waterbird abundance at urban sites was significantly higher than at rural sites (304 ± 59.7...

  11. Birds and music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Amini

    2009-03-01

    Through research in old mythological narrations, and literary texts, one could assume an intrinsic relationship between music and such sweet-singing mythological birds as phoenix, sphinx, Song-song, holy birds like Kership-tah, and other birds including swan and ring dove.

  12. Birds Kept as Pets

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... your pet’s health Visit a veterinarian who has experience with pet birds for routine check-ups to keep your bird healthy and prevent infectious diseases. If your bird becomes sick or dies within a month after purchase or adoption: Contact your veterinarian. Inform the pet ...

  13. Audubon Bird Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are a student reader, "The Story of Birds," a leaders' guide, a large colored Audubon bird chart, and a separate guide for the chart. The student reader is divided into eleven sections which relate to the various physical and behavioral features of birds such as feathers, feeding habits as related to the shape of bills and feet, nests,…

  14. Wetland Plant Guide for Assessing Habitat Impacts of Real-Time Salinity Management

    OpenAIRE

    Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Feldmann, Sara A.

    2004-01-01

    This wetland plant guide was developed to aid moist soil plant identification and to assist in the mapping of waterfowl and shorebird habitat in the Grassland Water District and surrounding wetland areas. The motivation for this habitat mapping project was a concern that real-time salinity management of wetland drainage might have long-term consequences for wildfowl habitat health -- changes in wetland drawdown schedules might, over the long term, lead to increased soil salinity and othe...

  15. Adverse effects of agricultural intensification and climate change on breeding habitat quality of Blacktailed Godwits Limosa l. limosa in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Schekkerman, H.; Dimmers, W.J.; Van Kats, R.J.M.; Melman, D.; Teunissen, W.A.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is one of the main drivers of farmland bird declines, but effects on birds may be confounded with those of climate change. Here we examine the effects of intensification and climate change on a grassland breeding wader, the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa l. limosa, in the

  16. Anthropogenic areas as incidental substitutes for original habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Jiménez, Juan

    2016-06-01

    One speaks of ecological substitutes when an introduced species performs, to some extent, the ecosystem function of an extirpated native species. We suggest that a similar case exists for habitats. Species evolve within ecosystems, but habitats can be destroyed or modified by natural and human-made causes. Sometimes habitat alteration forces animals to move to or remain in a suboptimal habitat type. In that case, the habitat is considered a refuge, and the species is called a refugee. Typically refugee species have lower population growth rates than in their original habitats. Human action may lead to the unintended generation of artificial or semiartificial habitat types that functionally resemble the essential features of the original habitat and thus allow a population growth rate of the same magnitude or higher than in the original habitat. We call such areas substitution habitats and define them as human-made habitats within the focal species range that by chance are partial substitutes for the species' original habitat. We call species occupying a substitution habitat adopted species. These are 2 new terms in conservation biology. Examples of substitution habitats are dams for European otters, wheat and rice fields for many steppeland and aquatic birds, and urban areas for storks, falcons, and swifts. Although substitution habitats can bring about increased resilience against the agents of global change, the conservation of original habitat types remains a conservation priority. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Lessons learned while integrating habitat, dispersal, disturbance, and life-history traits into species habitat models under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters

    2011-01-01

    We present an approach to modeling potential climate-driven changes in habitat for tree and bird species in the eastern United States. First, we took an empirical-statistical modeling approach, using randomForest, with species abundance data from national inventories combined with soil, climate, and landscape variables, to build abundance-based habitat models for 134...

  18. Application of models to conservation planning for terrestrial birds in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Jane A.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Dettmers, Randy; Jones, Tim; Rustay, Christopher; Ruth, Janet M.; Thompson, Frank R.; Will, Tom; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Thompson, Frank R.

    2009-01-01

    Partners in Flight (PIF), a public–private coalition for the conservation of land birds, has developed one of four international bird conservation plans recognized under the auspices of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). Partners in Flight prioritized species most in need of conservation attention and set range-wide population goals for 448 species of terrestrial birds. Partnerships are now tasked with developing spatially explicit estimates of the distribution, and abundance of priority species across large ecoregions and identifying habitat acreages needed to support populations at prescribed levels. The PIF Five Elements process of conservation design identifies five steps needed to implement all bird conservation at the ecoregional scale. Habitat assessment and landscape characterization describe the current amounts of different habitat types and summarize patch characteristics, and landscape configurations that define the ability of a landscape to sustain healthy bird populations and are a valuable first step to describing the planning area before pursuing more complex species-specific models. Spatially linked database models, landscape-scale habitat suitability models, and statistical models are viable alternatives for predicting habitat suitability or bird abundance across large planning areas to help assess conservation opportunities, design landscapes to meet population objectives, and monitor change in habitat suitability or bird numbers over time.Bird conservation in the United States is a good example of the use of models in large-scale wildlife conservation planning because of its geographic extent, focus on multiple species, involvement of multiple partners, and use of simple to complex models. We provide some background on the recent development of bird conservation initiatives in the United States and the approaches used for regional conservation assessment and planning. We focus on approaches being used for landscape

  19. Vulnerability of birds to climate change in California's Sierra Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    Rodney B. Siegel; Peter Pyle; James H. Thorne; Andrew J. Holguin; Christine A. Howell; Sarah Stock; Morgan W. Tingley

    2014-01-01

    In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. Such projections may enable managers to preempt or reduce emerging climate-related threats through appropriate habitat management. We used NatureServe's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to predict vulnerability to climate change of 168 bird species that breed i...

  20. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  1. Bird use of organic apple orchards: Frugivory, pest control and implications for production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna M Mangan

    Full Text Available As the largest terrestrial biomes, crop and pasturelands can have very large positive or negative impacts on biodiversity and human well-being. Understanding how animals use and impact agroecosystems is important for making informed decisions that achieve conservation and production outcomes. Yet, few studies examine the tradeoffs associated with wildlife in agricultural systems. We examined bird use of organic apple orchards as well as how birds influence fruit production positively through control of an economically important insect pest (codling moth (Cydia pomonella and negatively through fruit damage. We conducted transect surveys, observed bird frugivory and assessed bird and insect damage with an exclosure experiment in small organic farms in western Colorado. We found that organic apple orchards in this region provide habitat for a large number of both human-adapted and human-sensitive species and that the species in orchards were relatively similar to adjacent hedgerow habitats. Habitat use did not vary as a function of orchard characteristics, and apple damage by both birds and C. pomonella was consistent within and across apple blocks that varied in size. A small subset of bird species was observed foraging on apples yet the effect of birds as agents of fruit damage appeared rather minor and birds did not reduce C. pomonella damage. Our results demonstrate that organic apple orchards have the potential to provide habitat for diverse bird communities, including species typically sensitive to human activities, with little apparent effect on production.

  2. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environment, and an endangeredspecies: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed from woodland (n = 426 individuals to urban environments (n = 939 individuals (F2,6 = 7.315; P = 0.025. Species composition and feeding guilds differed significantly in the bird community structures among these three riparian environments. In the grassland and urban environments there were more generalist insectivorous species, while in the woodland environments we find more leaf and trunk insectivorous species and frugivorous species, sensitive to human impacts. Bird species can be biological quality indicators and they contribute to ecosystems performing relevant functions. With the knowledge on bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to implement management practices for restoration of degraded riparian environments.

  3. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  4. Counteracting wetland overgrowth increases breeding and staging bird abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehikoinen, Petteri; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Mikkola-Roos, Markku; Jaatinen, Kim

    2017-01-01

    Human actions have led to loss and degradation of wetlands, impairing their suitability as habitat especially for waterbirds. Such negative effects may be mitigated through habitat management. To date scientific evidence regarding the impacts of these actions remains scarce. We studied guild specific abundances of breeding and staging birds in response to habitat management on 15 Finnish wetlands. In this study management actions comprised several means of vegetation removal to thwart overgrowth. Management cost efficiency was assessed by examining the association between site-specific costs and bird abundances. Several bird guilds exhibited positive connections with both habitat management as well as with invested funds. Most importantly, however, red-listed species and species with special conservation concern as outlined by the EU showed positive correlations with management actions, underlining the conservation value of wetland management. The results suggest that grazing was especially efficient in restoring overgrown wetlands. As a whole this study makes it clear that wetland habitat management constitutes a feasible conservation tool. The marked association between invested funds and bird abundance may prove to be a valuable tool for decision makers when balancing costs and impact of conservation measures against one another.

  5. North Slope, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls and terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl for the North Slope of Alaska....

  6. Functional and Anatomic Correlates of Neural Aging in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottinger, Mary Ann

    2018-01-01

    Avian species show variation in longevity, habitat, physiologic characteristics, and lifetime endocrine patterns. Lifetime reproductive and metabolic function vary. Much is known about the neurobiology of the song system in many altricial birds. Little is known about aging in neural systems in birds. Captive birds often survive beyond the age they would in the wild, providing an opportunity to gain an understanding of the physiologic and neural changes. This paper reviews the available information with the goal of capturing areas of potential investigation into gaps in our understanding of neural aging as reflected in physiologic, endocrine, and cognitive aging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Birds of Sabaki Birds of Sabaki

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    CJ

    2005-02-25

    Feb 25, 2005 ... covers approximately 250ha.The area encompassed by this study extends from Mambrui to the north, the sea to the east, the opposite bank of the estuary to the south and the Sabaki bridge and Malindi-Garsen road to the west. The area is defined as an Important Bird Area(IBA) by BirdLife International in ...

  8. Food preferences of winter bird communities in different forest types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

    Full Text Available Food availability for forest birds is a function of habitat type, forest management regime, and season. In winter, it is also impacted by variations in the weather. In the current study we assessed the food preferences of wild bird populations in two types of forest (spruce and beech during the months of November 2010 to April 2011 in the Schwäbische Alb Biodiversity Exploratory, south-western Germany. Our aim was to investigate whether local bird communities preferred fat-rich, carbohydrate-rich or wild fruits and to determine how forest structure, seasonality and local weather conditions affected food preferences. We found higher bird activity in beech forests for the eleven resident species. We observed a clear preference for fat-rich food for all birds in both forest types. Snow cover affected activity at food stations but did not affect food preferences. Periods of extreme low temperatures increased activity.

  9. UV, VISIBLE AND NIR SPECTRAL ANALYSIS OF EGGSHELLS IN THE CHARADRIIDAE FAMILY OF BIRDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    We employed reflectance spectrophotometry to quantify color and mineral composition of eggshells from several species of the bird family Charadriidae to characterize species physiology and to distinguish nesting habitat preferences. We used a Shimadzu spectrophotometer to measur...

  10. Species diversity and abundance of wild birds in Dagona-Waterfowl ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    hope&shola

    The study of bird species diversity and richness in Dagona-Waterfowl sanctuary was carried out in early wet and late dry ... conservation of important species that rural inhabitants ... wetland of international importance on waterfowl habitat,.

  11. Geography of spring landbird migration through riparian habitats in southwestern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan K. Skagen; Jeffrey F. Kelly; Charles van Riper III; Richard L. Hutto; Deborah M. Finch; David J. Krueper; Cynthia P. Melcher

    2005-01-01

    Migration stopover resources, particularly riparian habitats, are critically important to landbirds migrating across the arid southwestern region of North America. To explore the effects of species biogeography and habitat affinity on spring migration patterns, we synthesized existing bird abundance and capture data collected in riparian habitats of the borderlands...

  12. Birds Communities at Mangrove of Batu Ampar, Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarwadi Budi Hernowo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Batu Ampar mangrove is an important bird habitat especially for birds which have relation to mangrove ecosystem in West Kalimantan. The research was conducted in February to March 2007, at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site. Sampling was done to get representative area for bird survey. The 19 transects were chosen as sampling site to collect bird data such as species and number of individual. Bird surveys were carried out using Reconnaissance method and index point of abundance (IPA count method. The length of each transect was approximately 500 m. The results showed that the bird community's structure dominated by insectivorous birds represented approximately 60 % of total bird's species at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site. The abundance numbers of the individual with the bird's species has relation pattern like J opposite. Percentage of dominant bird species was approximately 11%, those are such as stork billed kingfisher, white-collared kingfisher, common iora, chestnuts-rumped babbler, Strip-Tit Babbler, magpie robin, ashy tailorbird, mangrove blue flycatcher, pied fantail, mangrove whistler, Brown-throated Sunbird and Cooper-Throated Sunbird. Vertical structure of mangrove vegetation was used by birds at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site is mainly B stratum, and it used around 60% birds species. Based on dendrogram analysis there were 5 cluster birds species. The mangrove bird specialists found at sampling area were mangrove blue flycatcher and Cooper throated sunbird.

  13. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, C.M.J.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Bosveld, F.C.; Hendriks, D.M.D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P.; Moors, E.J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.P.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site,

  14. Birds of Sierra de Vallejo, Nayarit, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Figueroa-Esquivel, E.M.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sierra de Vallejo, is considered a priority region for conservation, and is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures. The inventory of birds are refers to studies in near areas. This study is a concrete contribution of the birds of the mountain chain and north of it. We considered bibliographic records and databases available on the web with records of ocurrence and specimens of scientific collections. Also we perform point counts in different localities inside the reserve. We observed a richness of 261 birds species, the family Tyrannidae is the best represented. Of the species recorded, 177 are permanent residents (31 are endemic and 15 are quasi-endemics to Mexico and 73 are migratory; the remaining eleven records have other status. Also 43 species are in endangered categories. We include species that have not been recorded in the lists of the area and records of species expand their ranges at Nayarit. Due to the great diversity of birds observed, it is necesary to continue the research work about habitat use, abundance and monitoring, it will provides the basis for the conservation of birds of Sierra de Vallejo.

  15. Disentangling the effects of land-use change, climate and CO2 on projected future European habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehsten, V; Sykes, M.T.; Scott, A.V.; Tzanopoulis, A.; Kallimanis, A.; Verburg, P.H.; Schulp, C.J.E.; Potts, S.G.; Vogiatzakis, I.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To project the potential European distribution of seven broad habitat categories (needle-leaved, broad-leaved, mixed and mediterranean forest, urban, grassland and cropland) in order to assess effects of land use, climate change and increase in CO2 on predicted habitat changes up to

  16. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Siegmund, R.; Wagner, M.; Hartmann, S.

    2015-04-01

    Cutting date and frequency are important parameters determining grassland yields in addition to the effects of weather, soil conditions, plant composition and fertilisation. Because accurate and area-wide data of grassland yields are currently not available, cutting frequency can be used to estimate yields. In this project, a method to detect cutting dates via surface changes in radar images is developed. The combination of this method with a grassland yield model will result in more reliable and regional-wide numbers of grassland yields. For the test-phase of the monitoring project, a study area situated southeast of Munich, Germany, was chosen due to its high density of managed grassland. For determining grassland cutting robust amplitude change detection techniques are used evaluating radar amplitude or backscatter statistics before and after the cutting event. CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A data were analysed. All detected cuts were verified according to in-situ measurements recorded in a GIS database. Although the SAR systems had various acquisition geometries, the amount of detected grassland cut was quite similar. Of 154 tested grassland plots, covering in total 436 ha, 116 and 111 cuts were detected using CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A radar data, respectively. Further improvement of radar data processes as well as additional analyses with higher sample number and wider land surface coverage will follow for optimisation of the method and for validation and generalisation of the results of this feasibility study. The automation of this method will than allow for an area-wide and cost efficient cutting date detection service improving grassland yield models.

  17. Diseases Transmitted by Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levison, Matthew E

    2015-08-01

    Although many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).

  18. Effects of land use on bird populations and pest control services on coffee farms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Railsback, Steven F.; Johnson, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of “land sharing” (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. “land sparing” (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system. PMID:24711377

  19. Effects of land use on bird populations and pest control services on coffee farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Railsback, Steven F; Johnson, Matthew D

    2014-04-22

    Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of "land sharing" (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. "land sparing" (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system.

  20. Tissue radionuclide concentrations in water birds and upland birds on the Hanford Site (USA) from 1971-2009

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delistraty, Damon; Van Verst, Scott

    2011-01-01

    Historical operations at the Hanford Site (Washington State, USA) have released a wide array of non-radionuclide and radionuclide contaminants into the environment. As a result, there is a need to characterize contaminant effects on site biota. Within this framework, the main purpose of our study was to evaluate radionuclide concentrations in bird tissue, obtained from the Hanford Environmental Information System (HEIS). The database was sorted by avian group (water bird vs. upland bird), radionuclide (over 20 analytes), tissue (muscle, bone, liver), location (onsite vs. offsite), and time period (1971-1990 vs. 1991-2009). Onsite median concentrations in water birds were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in onsite upland birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990) and Sr-90 in bone (1991-2009), perhaps due to behavioral, habitat, or trophic species differences. Onsite median concentrations in water birds were higher (borderline significance with Bonferroni P = 0.05) than those in offsite birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990). Onsite median concentrations in the earlier time period were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in the later time period for Co-60, Cs-137, Eu-152, and Sr-90 in water bird muscle and for Cs-137 in upland bird muscle tissue. Median concentrations of Sr-90 in bone were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in muscle for both avian groups and both locations. Over the time period, 1971-2009, onsite median internal dose was estimated for each radionuclide in water bird and upland bird tissues. However, a meaningful dose comparison between bird groups was not possible, due to a dissimilar radionuclide inventory, mismatch of time periods for input radionuclides, and lack of an external dose estimate. Despite these limitations, our results contribute toward ongoing efforts to characterize ecological risk at the Hanford Site. - Highlights: → Radionuclides evaluated in bird tissues on the Hanford Site

  1. Tissue radionuclide concentrations in water birds and upland birds on the Hanford Site (USA) from 1971-2009

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delistraty, Damon, E-mail: DDEL461@ecy.wa.gov [Washington State Department of Ecology, N. 4601 Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205-1295 (United States); Van Verst, Scott [Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA (United States)

    2011-08-15

    Historical operations at the Hanford Site (Washington State, USA) have released a wide array of non-radionuclide and radionuclide contaminants into the environment. As a result, there is a need to characterize contaminant effects on site biota. Within this framework, the main purpose of our study was to evaluate radionuclide concentrations in bird tissue, obtained from the Hanford Environmental Information System (HEIS). The database was sorted by avian group (water bird vs. upland bird), radionuclide (over 20 analytes), tissue (muscle, bone, liver), location (onsite vs. offsite), and time period (1971-1990 vs. 1991-2009). Onsite median concentrations in water birds were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in onsite upland birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990) and Sr-90 in bone (1991-2009), perhaps due to behavioral, habitat, or trophic species differences. Onsite median concentrations in water birds were higher (borderline significance with Bonferroni P = 0.05) than those in offsite birds for Cs-137 in muscle (1971-1990). Onsite median concentrations in the earlier time period were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in the later time period for Co-60, Cs-137, Eu-152, and Sr-90 in water bird muscle and for Cs-137 in upland bird muscle tissue. Median concentrations of Sr-90 in bone were significantly higher (Bonferroni P < 0.05) than those in muscle for both avian groups and both locations. Over the time period, 1971-2009, onsite median internal dose was estimated for each radionuclide in water bird and upland bird tissues. However, a meaningful dose comparison between bird groups was not possible, due to a dissimilar radionuclide inventory, mismatch of time periods for input radionuclides, and lack of an external dose estimate. Despite these limitations, our results contribute toward ongoing efforts to characterize ecological risk at the Hanford Site. - Highlights: > Radionuclides evaluated in bird tissues on the Hanford Site

  2. Seasonal bird traffic between Grand Teton National Park and western Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin L. Cody

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents data on variations in the breeding densities of birds in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, and evaluates these variations among years, habitats, and as functions of the migratory status of the breeding birds. Breeding opportunities certainly vary with the extremely variable weather conditions in the park year-to-year, and part of the variation in...

  3. Birds of the Savannah Harbor Navigation Project, Dredged Material Disposal Areas, 19942012

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    These results are discussed in relation to the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and specifically to the South Atlantic Region, where birds...5 Composition of forested areas...isolated nesting habitat in the ocean environment. The island is maintained by the USACE Savannah District, and use of this island by nesting and roosting

  4. A new conservation partnership: conserving the migratory birds of the Americas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack C. Capp; David Mehlman

    Over five billion birds move each year across the Americas, flying great distances over almost every location and habitat on the continents (Weidensaul 1999). Over 350 of the over 800 bird species in the United States migrate each year to Latin America and the Caribbean (Degraaf and Rappole 1995). Some fly each way over 4000 miles, chasing the seasons across oceans and...

  5. Glade/woodland restoration in the St. Francis Mountain Bird Conservation Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    David A. Hasenbeck

    2007-01-01

    The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, and American Bird Conservancy, share goals to restore and manage high quality glade, savanna, and woodland habitats within the Saint Francis Bird Conservation Area. The partnership endeavors to maintain and enhance an ecosystem with native glade and...

  6. Cavity-nesting bird use of nest boxes in vineyards of central-coast California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel P. Mummert; Laura Baines; William D. Tietje

    2002-01-01

    Oak woodland habitat is being degraded or replaced by vineyards in many areas of central-coastal California. Oak woodlands are home to many insectivorous, cavity-nesting birds that would be beneficial in and around vineyards. During March to June 2001, we used bluebird nest boxes to study nest box use and productivity of cavity-nesting birds in vineyards versus...

  7. Birds: A Study Guide for the Fourth Grade. Alaska Sea Week Curriculum Series. Draft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, James G.; King, Mary Lou

    Southeast Alaska's birds and wetlands are the subject of this elementary school teacher's guide and student workbook. Included are classroom activities and field investigations which address: (1) bird identification, habitats, adaptation, and conservation; and (2) the inhabitants, ecology and value of estuaries. Workbook activities involve the…

  8. Bird impact study on the 10 MW wind farm of La Pena (Tarifa)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cererols, N.; Martinez, A.; Ferrer, M.

    1996-01-01

    This paper shows the conclusions of a 16 month study of the possible impacts on the local and migrating population of birds of a wind farm located in the passageway of migrating birds between Africa and Europe. On the whole, the wind farm did not prove to represent an important impact on the birds present in its surroundings and, on the contrary, created a new habitat for some species not present in adjacent areas. (author)

  9. Burrowing Owl and Other Migratory Bird Mitigation for a Runway Construction Project at Edwards AFB

    OpenAIRE

    Hoehn, Amber L.; Hagan, Mark; Bratton, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) scheduled the construction of a runway in the spring of 2007. The runway would be in an area that contained migratory birds and their habitat. The construction project would be near Edwards AFB main runway and had the potential not only to impact species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), including the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), but also to increase bird and wildlife–aircraft strike hazards in the active flightline areas. To discourage ...

  10. Threshold responses of forest birds to landscape changes around exurban development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Suarez-Rubio

    Full Text Available Low-density residential development (i.e., exurban development is often embedded within a matrix of protected areas and natural amenities, raising concern about its ecological consequences. Forest-dependent species are particularly susceptible to human settlement even at low housing densities typical of exurban areas. However, few studies have examined the response of forest birds to this increasingly common form of land conversion. The aim of this study was to assess whether, how, and at what scale forest birds respond to changes in habitat due to exurban growth. We evaluated changes in habitat composition (amount and configuration (arrangement for forest and forest-edge species around North America Breeding Bird Survey (BBS stops between 1986 and 2009. We used Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis to detect change points in species occurrence at two spatial extents (400-m and 1-km radius buffer. Our results show that exurban development reduced forest cover and increased habitat fragmentation around BBS stops. Forest birds responded nonlinearly to most measures of habitat loss and fragmentation at both the local and landscape extents. However, the strength and even direction of the response changed with the extent for several of the metrics. The majority of forest birds' responses could be predicted by their habitat preferences indicating that management practices in exurban areas might target the maintenance of forested habitats, for example through easements or more focused management for birds within existing or new protected areas.

  11. Fossil bird eggs from the Pliocene of Laetoli, Tanzania: Their taxonomic and paleoecological relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry

    2005-04-01

    Recent paleontological investigations at the Pliocene site of Laetoli and at neighboring localities on the Eyasi Plateau of northern Tanzania have led to the recovery of a sizable collection of fossil bird eggs. The material comes from the Upper Laetolil Beds, dated at ˜3.6-3.8 Ma, and the Lower Laetolil Beds, dated at 3.8 Ma to older than 4.3 Ma. The preservation of relatively complete eggs (other than those of ratites) is an extremely rare occurrence in the fossil record, and Laetoli is the only locality in Africa that has produced such well-preserved eggs. Deposition of carbonatite air-fall tuffs led to the rapid burial of the eggs sub-aerially, and they were then preserved in paleosols that were geochemically conducive to their preservation. The collection of fossil eggs from Laetoli can be assigned to at least five different species of ground-nesting birds, including two or three species of francolins, a species of guineafowl, and a larger bird of uncertain taxonomic status about the size of a bustard. Most of the eggs can be assigned to a large species of Francolinus, similar in size to the extant F. afer and F. leucoscepus. A smaller species of francolin, about the size of Francolinus coqui or F. sephaena, is also represented, but is less common. A single egg may represent an even smaller species of francolin, about the size of Francolinus lathami or F. nahani, but its attribution to Francolinus is less certain. The evidence of at least two species of Francolinus at Laetoli indicates that francolins were already taxonomically diverse in East Africa by the mid-Pliocene. Three eggs are similar in their overall dimensions and morphology to the living Numida meleagris, the helmeted guineafowl. An avian community including at least one small species of francolin, a larger francolin, and a guineafowl (as well as ostriches and a vulture) implies that the paleoecology at Laetoli was likely to have been open woodland, bushland, savanna or grassland. However

  12. Do Birds Avoid Railroads as Has Been Found for Roads?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiącek, Jarosław; Polak, Marcin; Filipiuk, Maciej; Kucharczyk, Marek; Bohatkiewicz, Janusz

    2015-09-01

    The construction of railway lines usually has a negative effect on the natural environment: habitats are destroyed, collisions with trains cause deaths, and the noise and vibrations associated with rail traffic disturb the lives of animals. Cases are known, however, where the opposite holds true: a railway line has a positive effect on the fauna in its vicinity. In this study, we attempted to define the influence of a busy railway line on a breeding community of woodland birds. Birds were counted using the point method at 45 observation points located at three different distances (30, 280, 530 m) from the tracks. At each point, we determined the habitat parameters and the intensity of noise. In total, 791 individual birds of 42 species were recorded on the study plot. Even though the noise level fell distinctly with increasing distance from the tracks, the abundance of birds and the number of species were the highest near the railway line. Moreover, insectivorous species displayed a clear preference for the vicinity of the line. The noise from the trains did not adversely affect the birds on the study plot. The environmental conditions created by the edge effect meant that the birds preferred the neighborhood of the tracks: the more diverse habitats near the tracks supplied attractive nesting and foraging niches for many species of birds. Trains passing at clear intervals acted as point sources of noise and did not elicit any negative reactions on the part of the birds; this stands in contrast to busy roads, where the almost continuous flow of traffic in practice constitutes a linear source of noise.

  13. Birds of the Reserva Biológica do Mato Grande and surroundings, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vizentin-Bugoni, Jeferson; Jacobs, Fernando; Coimbra, Marco Antônio Afonso

    2015-01-01

    The Reserva Biológica do Mato Grande encompasses 5,161 hectares of wetlands, restinga forests and grasslands in southern Brazil. Aiming to assemble a list of bird species occurring in the reserve, we carried out 21 monthly expeditions from July 2007 to March 2009 and an additional visit on October...

  14. Vacant Nests and Other Factors Influencing Nest Site Selection of Birds of Prey Based on Case Studies in Forest Habitats in the Forest-Steppe and Steppe Zones of Eastern Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav G. Viter

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Our study was conducted in 2003–2012 in Eastern Ukraine, in the basin of the Seversky Donets river. The total surveyed area was ca. 900 km2 of nesting habitats suitable for raptors. A total of 69 vacant nests were found, i.e. 33.2 % of the total number of nests (208. Nests occupied by recipient species, i.e. the so-called ‘effective nest pool’, were 23–24, i.e. 33.3–34.7 % of the pool of available nests. Up to 25 % of all pairs of raptors depend on the availability of vacant nests of heterospecifics. Ravens (Corvus corax are the most significant donors of nests: 42.5 % of the pool of available nests is built by this species, and more than 60 % of them are occupied by recipient species. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo comes second with 26.09 and 58.3 %, respectively. The most common recipients of nests are Hobbies (Falco subbuteo, Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus and Booted Eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus. The most significant factors that govern occupation of vacant nests by recipient species are: availability of nests in the marginal zone of forest plots, i.e. within 500 m from the forest edge, large distance from human settlements (>1500 m, presence of nests located on trees in the canopy storey, and mature and submature age of forest stands. For seven species considered in our research (n=227, the most important factors were position of nests, in the forest canopy layer, no logging activity within300 m of the nest, no regular human disturbance, and presence of “windows” in the canopy made by fallen trees.

  15. Occupancy dynamics in a tropical bird community: unexpectedly high forest use by birds classified as non-forest species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Gutierrez, Viviana; Zipkin, Elise F.; Dhondt, Andre A.

    2010-01-01

    1. Worldwide loss of biodiversity necessitates a clear understanding of the factors driving population declines as well as informed predictions about which species and populations are at greatest risk. The biggest threat to the long-term persistence of populations is the reduction and changes in configuration of their natural habitat. 2. Inconsistencies have been noted in the responses of populations to the combined effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. These have been widely attributed to the effects of the matrix habitats in which remnant focal habitats are typically embedded. 3. We quantified the potential effects of the inter-patch matrix by estimating occupancy and colonization of forest and surrounding non-forest matrix (NF). We estimated species-specific parameters using a dynamic, multi-species hierarchical model on a bird community in southwestern Costa Rica. 4. Overall, we found higher probabilities of occupancy and colonization of forest relative to the NF across bird species, including those previously categorized as open habitat generalists not needing forest to persist. Forest dependency was a poor predictor of occupancy dynamics in our study region, largely predicting occupancy and colonization of only non-forest habitats. 5. Our results indicate that the protection of remnant forest habitats is key for the long-term persistence of all members of the bird community in this fragmented landscape, including species typically associated with open, non-forest habitats. 6.Synthesis and applications. We identified 39 bird species of conservation concern defined by having high estimates of forest occupancy, and low estimates of occupancy and colonization of non-forest. These species survive in forest but are unlikely to venture out into open, non-forested habitats, therefore, they are vulnerable to the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Our hierarchical community-level model can be used to estimate species-specific occupancy dynamics for focal

  16. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  17. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...

  18. Dependence of the conservation status of acid grasslands at the Pohorje and Kozjak on socioeconomic parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karmen KETIŠ

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland habitats were studied on twenty farms on the area of the Radlje ob Dravi administration unit, in the transect from Kozjak to Pohorje at different altitudes. The aim of the study was to investigate how environmental and  socio-economic parameters influence the diversity of plant species and, consequently, the conservation of grassland on acid soils, which are rare in Slovenia and are therefore more protected. The socioeconomic structure of farms was studied on the basis of an inquiry carried out on farms. Part-time farms prevail; the average age of farmers is 56.5 years, and 30% of farmers has no education or just elementary school. The relationship among the environmental, socio-economic parameters and floristic structures of grasslands was studied using canonic-correspondence analysis. The impact of 16 parameters was analysed, of which six were determined not to be statistically significant. The occurrence of chosen plant species was analysed in relation to environmental and socioeconomic parameters. The efficiency of agro-environmental subsidies in relation to plant species diversity was evaluated. It was determined that the education and age of farmers influence the intensity of farming and consequently have an impact on the diversity of plants species and the conservation status of grasslands.

  19. High potential of sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands for sheep epizoochory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general decline of grasslands across Europe due to habitat loss and degradation. Ensuring plant dispersal thus becomes a key process for preserving grassland patches in all scales. We examined diaspore dispersal by sheep epizoochory in the pastures of the North Adriatic Karst (NW Slovenia and determined the qualitative and quantitative features of diaspores in fur. We recorded 25,650 diaspores of 141 plant taxa (with 107 taxa and 23,350 diaspores determined to species level, using three different methods: (i the “whole-coat method”, (ii the “part-of-thecoat method” and (iii a “seedling emergence method”. A comparison of these techniques revealed that the “wholecoat method” provided the highest number of diaspores and plant species. All diaspores were clustered into five emergent groups based on seven functional traits (diaspore weight, length, width, height, volume, specific weight and the diaspore surface structure. Our research revealed that sheep represent an important dispersal vector, since about half of the plant species recorded in the pastures were found as diaspores in fur. This study contributes to knowledge about the modes of seed dispersal in seminatural grasslands. Taking into account that livestock play a key role in vegetation dynamics, understanding their effects on seed dispersal is essential for conservation and restoration of these species-rich grassland communities.

  20. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives, organization and research programme of the Grassland Biome Project are described against a background of the biome's ecological characteristics and environmental problems. Four principal research topics wil 1 be focused upon: (i...

  1. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  2. Status and management of neotropical migratory birds: Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M.; Peter W. Stangel

    1993-01-01

    The future for neotropical migratory birds rests with our commitment and ability to provide them adequate habitat during all periods of their life cycle. Our commitment to this cause is apparent in the groundswell of interest in neotropical migrants and the many proactive and coopemtive partnerships resulting from the Partners in Flight - Aves de las Americas...

  3. Bird banding and climate change: can we make a difference?

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. John Ralph; Jared D. Wolfe

    2014-01-01

    So how does your banding effort fit into the new paradigm of climate science? A little background: many bird populations underwent mass declines during the 19th century from a variety of causes including hunting and habitat change. Current human-induced climate change represents a new and fast-acting pressure that is inherently more difficult to curtail and may drive...

  4. Optimal Foraging by Birds: Experiments for Secondary & Postsecondary Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…

  5. Regional Forest Fragmentation and the Nesting Success of Migratory Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott K. Robinson; Frank R. Thompson III; Therese M. Donovan; Donald R. Whitehead; John Faaborg

    1995-01-01

    Forest fragmentation, the disruption in the continuity of forest habitat, is hypothesized to be a major cause of population decline for, some species of forest birds because fragmentation reduces nesting (reproductive) success. Nest predation and parasitism by cowbirds increased with forest fragmentation in nine midwestern (United States)landscapes that varied from 6...

  6. Radar ornithology and the conservation of migratory birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidney A. Gauthreaux; Carroll G. Belser

    2005-01-01

    It is possible to study with surveillance radar the movements of migrating birds in the atmosphere at different spatial scales. At a spatial scale within a range of 6 kilometers, high-resolution, 3-centimeter wavelength surveillance radar (e.g. BIRDRAD) can detect the departure of migrants from different types of habitat within a few kilometers of the radar. The radar...

  7. Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird flu (avian influenza) Overview Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans. More than a ... for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza is responsible for ... heat destroys avian viruses, cooked poultry isn't a health threat. ...

  8. Nanoscale magnetoreceptors in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....

  9. Understanding how birds navigate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....

  10. A Minimally Invasive Method for Sampling Nest and Roost Cavities for Fungi: a Novel Approach to Identify the Fungi Associated with Cavity-Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle A. Jusino; Daniel Lindner; John K. Cianchetti; Adam T. Grisé; Nicholas J. Brazee; Jeffrey R. Walters

    2014-01-01

    Relationships among cavity-nesting birds, trees, and wood decay fungi pose interesting management challenges and research questions in many systems. Ornithologists need to understand the relationships between cavity-nesting birds and fungi in order to understand the habitat requirements of these birds. Typically, researchers rely on fruiting body surveys to identify...

  11. Varying energetic costs of Brent Geese along a continuum from aquatic to agricultural habitats: the importance of habitat-specific energy expenditure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Clausen, Preben; Fox, Anthony David

    2013-01-01

    and alert than birds feeding in aquatic areas, and also spent much less time roosting. Frequency of disturbance was found to be higher in terrestrial habitats compared to aquatic habitats. These stress-related behavioural differences between habitats highlight the vulnerability of the species associated...... with adapting to different food sources. Combining time-budgets with activity-specific BMR-multiplicators showed that activity-based metabolic rates ranged from 1.7 to 2.7 × BMR within habitats exploited by Brent Geese, and emphasized that aquatic areas represent the energetically least expensive foraging...... habitat for these birds. This is largely the result of habitat-specific variation in time spent flying. These findings underline the importance of measuring habitat-specific behaviour and disturbance when studying avian energetics, and demonstrate the risk of uncritically using allometric relationships...

  12. Habitat use of radio-tracked Spotted Crakes Porzana porzana at a restored wetland in northeast Jutland, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David; Desholm, Mark; Rasmussen, Palle A.F.

    2013-01-01

    present in most of the wetland vegetation types present, excluding very dry restored grazed grassland, areas dominated by Purple Moor-grass Molinia caerulea and Soft Rush Juncus effusus/Flote-grass Glyceria fluitans wet acidic grassland. In each of the areas used by tagged birds, quadrats within......Singing Spotted Crakes Porzana porzana were surveyed across c.16 km2 of restored peat cuttings in Lille Vildmose, northern Jutland, Denmark during summer 2013. Mapping of singing birds on 16 nights between 16 April and 9 July confirmed nine occupied “territories” based on the presence of between 0......–6 birds on any one date. Singing Spotted Crakes were associated with shallower parts of peat extraction areas and flat restored areas with shallow (> 40 cm) water and dense vegetation. Singing birds were never heard in deep water channels, raised mire, dry peat cuttings, deep water peat cuttings, restored...

  13. Chewing lice from wild birds in northern Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diakou, Anastasia; Pedroso Couto Soares, José Bernardo; Alivizatos, Haralambos; Panagiotopoulou, Maria; Kazantzidis, Savas; Literák, Ivan; Sychra, Oldřich

    2017-10-01

    Greece represents an important area for wild birds due to its geographical position and habitat diversity. Although the bird species in Greece are well recorded, the information about the chewing lice that infest them is practically non-existent. Thus, the aim of the present study was to record the species of lice infesting wild birds in northern Greece and furthermore, to associate the infestation prevalence with factors such as the age, sex, migration and social behaviour of the host as well as the time of the year. In total 729 birds, (belonging to 9 orders, 32 families and 68 species) were examined in 7 localities of northern Greece, during 9 ringing sessions from June 2013 until October 2015. Eighty (11%) of the birds were found to be infested with lice. In 31 different bird species, 560 specimens of lice, belonging to 33 species were recorded. Mixed infestations were recorded in 11 cases where birds were infested with 2-3 different lice species. Four new host-parasite associations were recorded i.e. Menacanthus curuccae from Acrocephalus melanopogon, Menacanthus agilis from Cettia cetti, Myrsidea sp. from Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, and Philopretus citrinellae from Spinus spinus. Moreover, Menacanthus sinuatus was detected on Poecile lugubris, rendering this report the first record of louse infestation in this bird species. The statistical analysis of the data collected showed no association between parasitological parameters (prevalence, mean and median intensity and mean abundance) in two different periods of the year (breeding vs post-breeding season). However, there was a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of infestation between a) migrating and sedentary passerine birds (7.4% vs 13.2%), b) colonial and territorial birds (54.5% vs 9.6%), and c) female and male birds in breeding period (2.6% vs 15.6%). Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Nest site preference depends on the relative density of conspecifics and heterospecifics in wild birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Samplonius, Jelmer M.; Kromhout Van Der Meer, Iris M; Both, Christiaan

    2017-01-01

    Background: Social learning allows animals to eavesdrop on ecologically relevant knowledge of competitors in their environment. This is especially important when selecting a habitat if individuals have relatively little personal information on habitat quality. It is known that birds can use both

  15. Food for early succession birds: relationships among arthropods, shrub vegetation, and soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard N. Conner; Daniel Saenz; D. Brent Burt

    2006-01-01

    During spring and early summer, shrub- and herbaceous-level vegetation provides nesting and foraging habitat for many shrub-habitat birds. We examined relationships among arthropod biomass and abundance, foliage leaf surface area and weight, vegetation ground cover, soil characteristics, relative humidity, and temperature to evaluate what factors may influence...

  16. Composition and structure of bird communities in vegetational gradients of Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURICIO N. GODOI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The informations of bird species distribution in different habitats and the structure of their communities are crucial for bird conservation. We tested the differences in composition, richness and abundance of birds in different phytophysiognomies at Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil, and we demonstrated the variations in richness and abundance of birds between different trophic groups. Sampling was conducted between July 2011 and June 2012 in 200 point counts arranged in the study area. A total of 3350 contacts were obtained belonging to 156 bird species. Woodland savannas, seasonal forests and arboreal savannas had higher bird abundance and richness, while riparian forests, clean pastures and dirty pastures had smaller values of these parameters. The bird community was organized according to local vegetational gradient, with communities of forests, open areas and savannas, although many species occurred in more than one vegetation type. The insectivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and gramnivorous birds composed most of the community. These data showed how important environmental heterogeneity is to bird communities. Furthermore, the presence of extensive patches of natural habitats, the small distance between these patches and the permeability of pastures, with high arboreal and shrubby cover, are indicated as important factors to maintain the bird diversity.

  17. Road networks predict human influence on Amazonian bird communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Sadia E.; Lees, Alexander C.; Moura, Nárgila G.; Gardner, Toby A.; Barlow, Jos; Ferreira, Joice; Ewers, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Road building can lead to significant deleterious impacts on biodiversity, varying from direct road-kill mortality and direct habitat loss associated with road construction, to more subtle indirect impacts from edge effects and fragmentation. However, little work has been done to evaluate the specific effects of road networks and biodiversity loss beyond the more generalized effects of habitat loss. Here, we compared forest bird species richness and composition in the municipalities of Santarém and Belterra in Pará state, eastern Brazilian Amazon, with a road network metric called ‘roadless volume (RV)’ at the scale of small hydrological catchments (averaging 3721 ha). We found a significant positive relationship between RV and both forest bird richness and the average number of unique species (species represented by a single record) recorded at each site. Forest bird community composition was also significantly affected by RV. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between RV and forest cover, suggesting that road networks may impact biodiversity independently of changes in forest cover. However, variance partitioning analysis indicated that RV has partially independent and therefore additive effects, suggesting that RV and forest cover are best used in a complementary manner to investigate changes in biodiversity. Road impacts on avian species richness and composition independent of habitat loss may result from road-dependent habitat disturbance and fragmentation effects that are not captured by total percentage habitat cover, such as selective logging, fire, hunting, traffic disturbance, edge effects and road-induced fragmentation. PMID:25274363

  18. A novel statistical method for classifying habitat generalists and specialists

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chazdon, Robin L; Chao, Anne; Colwell, Robert K

    2011-01-01

    in second-growth (SG) and old-growth (OG) rain forests in the Caribbean lowlands of northeastern Costa Rica. We evaluate the multinomial model in detail for the tree data set. Our results for birds were highly concordant with a previous nonstatistical classification, but our method classified a higher......: (1) generalist; (2) habitat A specialist; (3) habitat B specialist; and (4) too rare to classify with confidence. We illustrate our multinomial classification method using two contrasting data sets: (1) bird abundance in woodland and heath habitats in southeastern Australia and (2) tree abundance...... fraction (57.7%) of bird species with statistical confidence. Based on a conservative specialization threshold and adjustment for multiple comparisons, 64.4% of tree species in the full sample were too rare to classify with confidence. Among the species classified, OG specialists constituted the largest...

  19. Energy Development in Colorado's Pawnee National Grasslands: Mapping and Measuring the Disturbance Footprint of Renewables and Non-Renewables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baynard, Chris W.; Mjachina, Ksenya; Richardson, Robert D.; Schupp, Robert W.; Lambert, J. David; Chibilyev, Alexander A.

    2017-06-01

    This paper examines the pattern and extent of energy development in steppe landscapes of northeast Colorado, United States. We compare the landscape disturbance created by oil and gas production to that of wind energy inside the Pawnee National Grasslands eastern side. This high-steppe landscape consists of a mosaic of federal, state, and private lands where dominant economic activities include ranching, agriculture, tourism, oil and gas extraction, and wind energy generation. Utilizing field surveys, remote sensing data and geographic information systems techniques, we quantify and map the footprint of energy development at the landscape level. Findings suggest that while oil and gas and wind energy development have resulted in a relatively small amount of habitat loss within the study area, the footprint stretches across the entire zone, fragmenting this mostly grassland habitat. Futhermore, a third feature of this landscape, the non-energy transportation network, was also found to have a significant impact. Combined, these three features fragment the entire Pawnee National Grasslands eastern side, leaving very few large intact core, or roadless areas. The primary objective of this ongoing work is to create a series of quantifiable and replicable surface disturbance indicators linked to energy production in semi-arid grassland environments. Based on these, and future results, we aim to work with industry and regulators to shape energy policy as it relates to environmental performance, with the aim of reducing the footprint and thus increasing the sustainability of these extractive activities.

  20. Disentangling how landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity affects Savanna birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwyn Price

    Full Text Available In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha and landscape (100-1000s ha scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.

  1. Disentangling how landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity affects Savanna birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A; Kutt, Alex S; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R; Ludwig, John A

    2013-01-01

    In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha) and landscape (100-1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.

  2. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dasselaar, A. [Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands); Oenema, O. [NMI, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    Net methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from managed grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers in the period January - June 1994. Net CH{sub 4} emissions from two intensively managed grasslands were low, in general less than 0.1 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. On these sites, the effect of management was negligibly small. CH{sub 4} emission from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve ranged from 0 to 185 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. The results presented here indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher on extensively managed grasslands than on intensively managed grasslands. 2 figs., 6 refs.

  3. Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow's sparrows in Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific song playbacks and we found no Henslow’s sparrows in control plots. The addition of social cues using playback systems in restored grassland habitats may aid conservation efforts of Henslow’s sparrows to available habitat.

  4. Calcium, snails, and birds: a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mänd

    2000-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that wild birds breeding in acidified areas have difficulties with obtaining sufficient calcium for their eggshells, and that the cause of it is the shortage of land snails. Many birds have to search for Ca-rich snail shells on a daily basis during egg production. Molluscs depend on litter calcium, which has decreased due to acidification of the environment. Calcium limitation may be a widespread phenomenon also in non-acidified, naturally Ca-poor areas. The problem is that while in the latter areas the time for development of specific adaptations may have been sufficient, then in acidified areas, on the contrary, calcium shortage is a recent phenomenon. Therefore, since the extent of calcium limitation in non-acidified areas is hard to derive from observational data, experimental approach is needed. We provide experimental evidence that specific calcium deficit does affect reproductive traits also in the birds breeding in naturally base-poor habitats. Our study was conducted in a heterogeneous woodland area in Estonia containing deciduous forest patches as well as base-poor pine forest with low snail abundance. Ca supplementation, using snail shell and chicken eggshell fragments, was carried out for pied flycatchers and great tits. Extra calcium affected positively several reproductive traits like egg volume and eggshell thickness, start of breeding, and fledglings’ parameters. The negative relationship between calcium availability and lay-date suggests that birds adjust their breeding tactics to conditions of Ca deficiency, for example, by postponing laying.

  5. Eder Acquisition 2007 Habitat Evaluation Procedures Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashley, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    A habitat evaluation procedures (HEP) analysis was conducted on the Eder acquisition in July 2007 to determine how many protection habitat units to credit Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for providing funds to acquire the project site as partial mitigation for habitat losses associated with construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams. Baseline HEP surveys generated 3,857.64 habitat units or 1.16 HUs per acre. HEP surveys also served to document general habitat conditions. Survey results indicated that the herbaceous plant community lacked forbs species, which may be due to both livestock grazing and the late timing of the surveys. Moreover, the herbaceous plant community lacked structure based on lower than expected visual obstruction readings (VOR); likely a direct result of livestock impacts. In addition, introduced herbaceous vegetation including cultivated pasture grasses, e.g. crested wheatgrass and/or invader species such as cheatgrass and mustard, were present on most areas surveyed. The shrub element within the shrubsteppe cover type was generally a mosaic of moderate to dense shrubby areas interspersed with open grassland communities while the 'steppe' component was almost entirely devoid of shrubs. Riparian shrub and forest areas were somewhat stressed by livestock. Moreover, shrub and tree communities along the lower reaches of Nine Mile Creek suffered from lack of water due to the previous landowners 'piping' water out of the stream channel.

  6. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  7. Effects of vegetation, corridor width and regional land use on early successional birds on powerline corridors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A Askins

    Full Text Available Powerline rights-of-way (ROWs often provide habitat for early successional bird species that have suffered long-term population declines in eastern North America. To determine how the abundance of shrubland birds varies with habitat within ROW corridors and with land use patterns surrounding corridors, we ran Poisson regression models on data from 93 plots on ROWs and compared regression coefficients. We also determined nest success rates on a 1-km stretch of ROW. Seven species of shrubland birds were common in powerline corridors. However, the nest success rates for prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor and field sparrow (Spizella pusilla were <21%, which is too low to compensate for estimated annual mortality. Some shrubland bird species were more abundant on narrower ROWs or at sites with lower vegetation or particular types of vegetation, indicating that vegetation management could be refined to favor species of high conservation priority. Also, several species were more abundant in ROWs traversing unfragmented forest than those near residential areas or farmland, indicating that corridors in heavily forested regions may provide better habitat for these species. In the area where we monitored nests, brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater occurred more frequently close to a residential area. Although ROWs support dense populations of shrubland birds, those in more heavily developed landscapes may constitute sink habitat. ROWs in extensive forests may contribute more to sustaining populations of early successional birds, and thus may be the best targets for habitat management.

  8. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's sparrow (Ammodrammus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Hofmeister, Erik K; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W

    2014-10-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n=346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2-6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4-10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4-9% and 9-20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n=165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  9. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n = 346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2–6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4–10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4–9% and 9–20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n = 165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  10. Environmental disturbance and conservation of marine and shoreline birds on the west coast of Vancouver Island

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgan, K.H.; Butler, R.W.; Vermeer, R.W.

    1992-01-01

    Loss of habitat and oiling of birds represent two major threats to marine and shoreline bird populations on Vancouver Island's west coast, since their effects are widespread and cumulative. Offshore tanker traffic and local inshore shipments of petroleum products expose the coast to high risks of oiling. Large numbers of birds are most at risk when concentrated in relatively small areas, such as highly productive feeding areas, at communal roosting sites, and around nesting colonies. Logging of mature and old-growth forests has led to destruction of the nesting habitat of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus), while industrial development of estuaries, mudflats, and spawning grounds of Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi) has diminished feeding habitats for other marine and shoreline birds. Fisheries operations, human disturbance of colonies, and introduced predators, notably the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and mink (Mustela vison), have impacted upon local populations. Management actions and research needs to mitigate these threats are addressed. 40 refs

  11. An Innovative Approach to Effective Climate Science Application through Stakeholder Participation in Great Plains Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athearn, N.; Broska, J.

    2015-12-01

    For natural resource managers and other Great Plains stakeholders, climate uncertainties further confound decision-making on a highly altered landscape. Partner organizations comprising the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) acknowledge climate change as a high-priority threat to grasslands and associated habitats, affecting water availability, species composition, and other factors. Despite its importance, incorporation of climate change impacts into planning is hindered by high uncertainty and lack of translation to a tangible outcome: effects on species and their habitats. In 2014, the GPLCC initiated a Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) process to ultimately improve the size and connectivity of grasslands - informing land managers of the landscape-scale impacts of local decisions about where to restore, enhance, protect, and develop lands. Defining this goal helped stakeholders envision a tangible product. High resolution land cover data recently completed for Texas and Oklahoma represent current grassland locations. By focusing climate change models to project changes in these land cover datasets, resulting land cover projections can be directly incorporated into LCD-based models to focus restoration where future climates will support grasslands. Broad organizational cooperation has been critical for this USGS-led project, which uses downscaled climate data and other support from the South Central Climate Science Center Consortium and builds on existing work including LCD efforts of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture and the Bureau of Land Management's Southern Great Plains Rapid Ecological Assessment. Ongoing stakeholder guidance through an advisory team ensures effective application of a product that will be both relevant to and understood by decision makers, for whom the primary role of research is to reduce uncertainties and clear the path for more efficient decision-making in the face of climatic uncertainty.

  12. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  13. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  14. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  15. Birds and wind turbines: can they co-exist?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    This one-day seminar was intended to provide a forum for information exchange and discussion between those concerned with the potential effects of wind turbines on bird life and to produce recommendations that would be helpful in future wind power developments, environmental impact assessments and related research activities. The six papers presented cover the following topics: impacts, mitigation and monitoring of collisions, disturbance in the construction phase and habitat loss; bird protection and the law with particular reference to the burden of proof required from developers in a planning context in the United Kingdom; continuing studies on the birds of Blyth Harbour in the UK where nine 300kW wind turbines are mounted on a pier jutting out into the sea; an overview of European and American experience; the policy and experience of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; wind farm design in the light of previous experience. The discussion arising out of each paper is summarised. (UK)

  16. The birds of Araku, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.S. Kumar

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Avifaunal survey carried out from December 2006 to September 2007 in Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, revealed the presence of a total of 147 species of birds belonging to 43 families. One-hundred-twelve species of birds in Araku Valley were resident breeders, 23 species winter visitors, nine species local migrants, two species passage migrants and one species summer visitor. Many bird species were seen in more than one habitat for nesting, roosting and foraging. The dominant feeding guild of birds was insectivorous. Four globally threatened species, namely, the Purple Wood-Pigeon Columba punicea Blyth, 1842, the Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Pallas, 1811, the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Fleischer, 1818 and the Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus (S.G. Gmelin, 1770, were recorded during the survey from the area

  17. Hatching synchrony in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Tippeltová, Zuzana

    2011-01-01

    This bachelor thesis is about hatching synchrony in birds. Generally, among birds there are two types of hatching - asynchronous and synchronous- and the type of hatching is primarily determined by the time of the onset of incubation. In many bird species, including most precocial ones, incubation does not begin until the last egg has been laid, which results in hatching of all the eggs within a few hours. In synchronously-hatched broods, all the chicks are about the same age. Thus no single ...

  18. Disentangling urban habitat and matrix effects on wild bee species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Leonie K; Eichfeld, Julia; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha

    2016-01-01

    In face of a dramatic decline of wild bee species in many rural landscapes, potential conservation functions of urban areas gain importance. Yet effects of urbanization on pollinators, and in particular on wild bees, remain ambiguous and not comprehensively understood. This is especially true for amenity grassland and extensively managed wastelands within large-scale residential housing areas. Using Berlin as a study region, we aimed to investigate (a) if these greenspaces are accepted by wild bee assemblages as foraging habitats; (b) how assemblage structure of bees and individual bee species are affected by different habitat (e.g., management, flower density) and urban matrix variables (e.g., isolation, urbanization); and (c) to what extent grassland restoration can promote bees in urban environments. In summer 2012, we collected 62 bee species belonging to more than 20% of the taxa known for Berlin. Urbanization significantly affected species composition of bees; 18 species were affiliated to different levels of urbanization. Most bee species were not affected by any of the environmental variables tested, and urbanization had a negative effect only for one bee species. Further, we determined that restoration of diverse grasslands positively affected bee species richnesss in urban environments. We conclude that differently structured and managed greenspaces in large-scale housing areas can provide additional foraging habitats and refuges for pollinators. This supports approaches towards a biodiversity friendly management within urban regions and may be of particular importance given that anthropogenic pressure is increasing in many rural landscapes.

  19. Disentangling urban habitat and matrix effects on wild bee species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie K. Fischer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In face of a dramatic decline of wild bee species in many rural landscapes, potential conservation functions of urban areas gain importance. Yet effects of urbanization on pollinators, and in particular on wild bees, remain ambiguous and not comprehensively understood. This is especially true for amenity grassland and extensively managed wastelands within large-scale residential housing areas. Using Berlin as a study region, we aimed to investigate (a if these greenspaces are accepted by wild bee assemblages as foraging habitats; (b how assemblage structure of bees and individual bee species are affected by different habitat (e.g., management, flower density and urban matrix variables (e.g., isolation, urbanization; and (c to what extent grassland restoration can promote bees in urban environments. In summer 2012, we collected 62 bee species belonging to more than 20% of the taxa known for Berlin. Urbanization significantly affected species composition of bees; 18 species were affiliated to different levels of urbanization. Most bee species were not affected by any of the environmental variables tested, and urbanization had a negative effect only for one bee species. Further, we determined that restoration of diverse grasslands positively affected bee species richnesss in urban environments. We conclude that differently structured and managed greenspaces in large-scale housing areas can provide additional foraging habitats and refuges for pollinators. This supports approaches towards a biodiversity friendly management within urban regions and may be of particular importance given that anthropogenic pressure is increasing in many rural landscapes.

  20. Exploiting Scanning Behavior for Predators Can Reduce Rice Damage Caused by Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Honda

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Rice is often damaged by birds, especially sparrows, in Asia. Bird nets are sometimes used as countermeasures; however this approach is expensive and labor intensive. For this reason, farmers generally eschew bird nets, even though no alternative countermeasures are available. This study focused on exploiting the bird behavior of scanning for predators to reduce crop damage. When birds forage for seeds on the ground they often stop pecking and briefly raise their heads, apparently to scan for predators. Low visibility habitats increase scanning behavior and increased scanning behavior reduces habitat quality from the bird’s perspective; therefore, this study tested the relationship between rice damage rate and visibility at the periphery of rice fields, where tree sparrows rest after feeding. Overall, low visibility reduced damage to rice. Because visibility was mainly affected by weeds, weed management techniques contribute to crop damage management. To reduce damage, weeding can be decreased; therefore, this technique is cost- and labor-efficient.