Joseph A.M. Smith; Leonard R. Reitsma; Peter P. Marra
We radiotracked Northern Waterthrushes (Parkesia noveboracensis) in four habitats in Puerto Rico during two winters (i.e., JanuaryâApril) in 2003 and 2004 to determine the ecological determinants of diurnal space use and overwinter sitepersistence in this species. The majority of birds (69%) were sedentary and used a contiguous area within a single habitat over the...
M.T. Hallworth; L.R. Reitsma; K. Parent
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 2005â2007. 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...
Wood, Petra; Frantz, Mack W.; Becker, Douglas A.
Because shale gas development is occurring over large landscapes and consequently is affecting many headwater streams, an understanding of its effects on headwater-stream faunal communities is needed. We examined effects of shale gas development (well pads and associated infrastructure) on Louisiana waterthrush Parkesia motacilla and benthic macroinvertebrate communities in 12 West Virginia headwater streams in 2011. Streams were classed as impacted (n = 6) or unimpacted (n = 6) by shale gas development. We quantified waterthrush demography (nest success, clutch size, number of fledglings, territory density), a waterthrush Habitat Suitability Index, a Rapid Bioassessment Protocol habitat index, and benthic macroinvertebrate metrics including a genus-level stream-quality index for each stream. We compared each benthic metric between impacted and unimpacted streams with a Student's t-test that incorporated adjustments for normalizing data. Impacted streams had lower genus-level stream-quality index scores; lower overall and Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera richness; fewer intolerant taxa, more tolerant taxa, and greater density of 0–3-mm individuals (P ≤ 0.10). We then used Pearson correlation to relate waterthrush metrics to benthic metrics across the 12 streams. Territory density (no. of territories/km of stream) was greater on streams with higher genus-level stream-quality index scores; greater density of all taxa and Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa; and greater biomass. Clutch size was greater on streams with higher genus-level stream-quality index scores. Nest survival analyses (n = 43 nests) completed with Program MARK suggested minimal influence of benthic metrics compared with nest stage and Habitat Suitability Index score. Although our study spanned only one season, our results suggest that shale gas development affected waterthrush and benthic communities in the headwater streams we studied. Thus, these ecological effects of
Frantz, Mack W.; Wood, Petra B.; Sheehan, James; George, Gregory
Shale gas development continues to outpace the implementation of best management practices for wildlife affected by development. We examined demographic responses of the Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) to shale gas development during 2009–2011 and 2013–2015 in a predominantly forested landscape in West Virginia, USA. Forest cover across the study area decreased from 95% in 2008 to 91% in 2015, while the area affected by shale gas development increased from 0.4% to 3.9%. We quantified nest survival and productivity, a source–sink threshold, riparian habitat quality, territory density, and territory length by monitoring 58.1 km of forested headwater streams (n = 14 streams). Across years, we saw annual variability in nest survival, with a general declining trend over time. Of 11 a priori models tested to explain nest survival (n = 280 nests), 4 models that included temporal, habitat, and shale gas covariates were supported, and 2 of these models accounted for most of the variation in daily nest survival rate. After accounting for temporal effects (rainfall, nest age, and time within season), shale gas development had negative effects on nest survival. Population-level nest productivity declined and individual productivity was lower in areas disturbed by shale gas development than in undisturbed areas, and a source–sink threshold suggested that disturbed areas were more at risk of being sink habitat. Riparian habitat quality scores, as measured by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency index and a waterthrush-specific habitat suitability index, differed by year and were negatively related to the amount of each territory disturbed by shale gas development. Territory density was not related to the amount of shale gas disturbance, but decreased over time as territory lengths increased. Overall, our results suggest a decline in waterthrush site quality as shale gas development increases, despite relatively small site-wide forest loss.
Mattsson, B.J.; Meyers, J.M.; Cooper, R.J.
The Louisiana Waterthrush (waterthrush: Seiurus motacilla) is a forest-dwelling, Nearctic-Neotropical migratory passerine that nests along streams. We attached radiotransmitters (0.6-0.8 g) to 12 nestling waterthrushes using snug, elastic loops. At three nests, adult waterthrushes were videotaped removing radio-tagged young from the nest. In addition, we recovered nine radio-backpacks (with two still attached to the carcasses of nestlings) near nests within a few days after attaching transmitters. Only one of 12 radio-tagged young was relocated more than 24 h after attaching the transmitter. Thus, the method of transmitter attachment we used was not effective. Using snug, nonelastic loops (e.g., nylon) for the harness may reduce the loss of transmitters, but may injure the skin as fledglings grow. Other possible alternatives include (1) gluing the transmitter to skin on the back of nestlings, (2) capturing fledglings in mist nets and attaching transmitters a week or more after fledging by which time contour feathers have grown and the likelihood of a parent removing the transmitter may be reduced, or (3) attempting to monitor fledglings without attaching transmitters. The success of the latter two alternatives would likely be enhanced by attaching transmitters to adults and then tracking them to locate their still-dependent fledglings.
Terry L. Master; Robert S. Mulvihill; Robert C. Leberman; Julio Sanchez; Ernesto Carmen
We made preliminary observations on the winter distribution, ecology and behavior of Louisiana Waterthrushes (Seiurus motacilla) in Costa Rica during January 1999 and 2000. We visited 24 headwater streams in three of the four principal mountain ranges in the country (Cordilleras Tilarán, Central, and the Talamanca) and confirmed the...
Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.
The Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) is a focal species of concern associated with shallowly flooded emergent wetlands, most commonly sedge (Carex spp.) meadows. Their populations are believed to be limited by loss or degradation of wetland habitat due to drainage, altered hydrology, and fire suppression, factors that have often resulted in encroachment of shrubs into sedge meadows and change in vegetative cover. Nocturnal call-playback surveys for Yellow Rails were conducted over 3 years at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Effects of habitat structure and landscape variables on the probability of use by Yellow Rails were assessed at two scales, representing a range of home range sizes, using generalized linear mixed models. At the 163-m (8-ha) scale, year with quadratic models of maximum and mean water depths best explained the data. At the 300-m (28-ha) scale, the best model contained year and time since last fire (≤ 1, 2–5, and > 10 years). The probability of use by Yellow Rails was 0.285 ± 0.132 (SE) for points burned 2-5 years ago, 0.253 ± 0.097 for points burned ≤ 1 year ago, and 0.028 ± 0.019 for points burned > 10 years ago. Habitat differences relative to fire history and comparisons between sites with and without Yellow Rails indicated that Yellow Rails used areas with the deepest litter and highest ground cover, and relatively low shrub cover and heights, as well as landscapes having greater sedge-grass cover and less lowland woody or upland cover types. Burning every 2-5 years appears to provide the litter, ground-level cover, and woody conditions attractive to Yellow Rails. Managers seeking to restore and sustain these wetland systems would benefit from further investigations into how flooding and fire create habitat conditions attractive to breeding Yellow Rails
Loman, Zachary G.; DeLuca, William; Harrison, Daniel J.; Loftin, Cynthia S.; Rolek, Brian W.; Wood, Petra B.
ContextSpecies-specific models of landscape capability (LC) can inform landscape conservation design. Landscape capability is “the ability of the landscape to provide the environment […] and the local resources […] needed for survival and reproduction […] in sufficient quantity, quality and accessibility to meet the life history requirements of individuals and local populations.” Landscape capability incorporates species’ life histories, ecologies, and distributions to model habitat for current and future landscapes and climates as a proactive strategy for conservation planning.ObjectivesWe tested the ability of a set of LC models to explain variation in point occupancy and abundance for seven bird species representative of spruce-fir, mixed conifer-hardwood, and riparian and wooded wetland macrohabitats.MethodsWe compiled point count data sets used for biological inventory, species monitoring, and field studies across the northeastern United States to create an independent validation data set. Our validation explicitly accounted for underestimation in validation data using joint distance and time removal sampling.ResultsBlackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata), wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), and Louisiana (Parkesia motacilla) and northern waterthrush (P. noveboracensis) models were validated as predicting variation in abundance, although this varied from not biologically meaningful (1%) to strongly meaningful (59%). We verified all seven species models [including ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), blackburnian (Setophaga fusca) and cerulean warbler (Setophaga cerulea)], as all were positively related to occupancy data.ConclusionsLC models represent a useful tool for conservation planning owing to their predictive ability over a regional extent. As improved remote-sensed data become available, LC layers are updated, which will improve predictions.
Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Dawson, D.K.
With continuing tropical deforestation, there is increased concern for birds that depend on forest habitats in Latin America. During the past 10 northern winters, we have conducted quantitative studies of habitat use by wintering migrant songbirds and by residents in the Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Many migrants, but few residents, winter in forest fragments and in certain arboreal agricultural habitats (citrus, cacao, shade coffee). Many other agricultural habitats (sun coffee, mango, commercial banana plantations, and heavily grazed pasture) are avoided by most birds. Some species, such as thrushes and ground-feeding warblers, depend on closed-canopy forest. Some, such as Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) and Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), winter primarily in mangroves or other swamp forests. The majority of neotropical migrant passerines winter in forest fragments and certain agricultural habitats, as well as mature forest; but many resident species, especially suboscines (Furnariidae, Dendrocolaptidae, Formicariidae, Papridae), are heavily impacted by loss and fragmentation of the forest.
Anna M. Calvert
Full Text Available Long-distance migrants wintering in tropical regions face a number of critical conservation threats throughout their lives, but seasonal estimates of key demographic parameters such as winter survival are rare. Using mist-netting-based mark-recapture data collected in coastal Costa Rica over a six-year period, we examined variation in within- and between-winter survivorship of the Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea; 753 young and 376 adults banded, a declining neotropical habitat specialist that depends on threatened mangrove forests during the nonbreeding season. We derived parallel seasonal survivorship estimates for the Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis; 564 young and 93 adults banded, a cohabitant mangrove specialist that has not shown the same population decline in North America, to assess whether contrasting survivorship might contribute to the observed differences in the species’ population trajectories. Although average annual survival probability was relatively similar between the two species for both young and adult birds, monthly estimates indicated that relative to Northern Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warblers exhibited: greater interannual variation in survivorship, especially within winters; greater variation in survivorship among the three study sites; lower average between-winter survivorship, particularly among females, and; a sharp decline in between-winter survivorship from 2003 to 2009 for both age groups and both sexes. Rather than identifying one seasonal vital rate as a causal factor of Prothonotary Warbler population declines, our species comparison suggests that the combination of variable within-winter survival with decreasing between-winter survival demands a multi-seasonal approach to the conservation of this and other tropical-wintering migrants.
Clement, Matthew J.; Hines, James E.; Nichols, James D.; Pardieck, Keith L.; Ziolkowski, David J.
There is intense interest in basic and applied ecology about the effect of global change on current and future species distributions. Projections based on widely used static modeling methods implicitly assume that species are in equilibrium with the environment and that detection during surveys is perfect. We used multiseason correlated detection occupancy models, which avoid these assumptions, to relate climate data to distributional shifts of Louisiana Waterthrush in the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. We summarized these shifts with indices of range size and position and compared them to the same indices obtained using more basic modeling approaches. Detection rates during point counts in BBS surveys were low, and models that ignored imperfect detection severely underestimated the proportion of area occupied and slightly overestimated mean latitude. Static models indicated Louisiana Waterthrush distribution was most closely associated with moderate temperatures, while dynamic occupancy models indicated that initial occupancy was associated with diurnal temperature ranges and colonization of sites was associated with moderate precipitation. Overall, the proportion of area occupied and mean latitude changed little during the 1997–2013 study period. Near-term forecasts of species distribution generated by dynamic models were more similar to subsequently observed distributions than forecasts from static models. Occupancy models incorporating a finite mixture model on detection – a new extension to correlated detection occupancy models – were better supported and may reduce bias associated with detection heterogeneity. We argue that replacing phenomenological static models with more mechanistic dynamic models can improve projections of future species distributions. In turn, better projections can improve biodiversity forecasts, management decisions, and understanding of global change biology.
Lovette, I.J.; Perez-Eman, J. L.; Sullivan, J.P.; Banks, R.C.; Fiorentino, I.; Cordoba-Cordoba, S.; Echeverry-Galvis, M.; Barker, F.K.; Burns, K.J.; Klicka, J.; Lanyon, Scott M.; Bermingham, E.
The birds in the family Parulidae-commonly termed the New World warblers or wood-warblers-are a classic model radiation for studies of ecological and behavioral differentiation. Although the monophyly of a 'core' wood-warbler clade is well established, no phylogenetic hypothesis for this group has included a full sampling of wood-warbler species diversity. We used parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods to reconstruct relationships among all genera and nearly all wood-warbler species, based on a matrix of mitochondrial DNA (5840 nucleotides) and nuclear DNA (6 loci, 4602 nucleotides) characters. The resulting phylogenetic hypotheses provide a highly congruent picture of wood-warbler relationships, and indicate that the traditional generic classification of these birds recognizes many non-monophyletic groups. We recommend a revised taxonomy in which each of 14 genera (Seiurus, Helmitheros, Mniotilta, Limnothlypis, Protonotaria, Parkesia, Vermivora, Oreothlypis, Geothlypis, Setophaga, Myioborus, Cardellina, Basileuterus, Myiothlypis) corresponds to a well-supported clade; these nomenclatural changes also involve subsuming a number of well-known, traditional wood-warbler genera (Catharopeza, Dendroica, Ergaticus, Euthlypis, Leucopeza, Oporornis, Parula, Phaeothlypis, Wilsonia). We provide a summary phylogenetic hypothesis that will be broadly applicable to investigations of the historical biogeography, processes of diversification, and evolution of trait variation in this well studied avian group. ?? 2010 Elsevier Inc.