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Most birds occur on Hispaniola, where the species exhibits sexual habitat segregation, and where the loss of its preferred wet broadleaf habitats has been severe. Conservation of female-dominated habitats has been identified as a top priority for the species' preservation. During , we conducted standardized field surveys for the Bicknell's Thrush in forests of the Dominican Republic's Cordillera Septentrional, an area of high importance for females.

We combined occurrence data with environmental variables to create a model of thrush distribution and habitat selection in the region.

As an example of how predictive models of abundance can inform conservation, we used the best model that contained only spatially explicit covariates to map predicted winter abundance of the Bicknell's Thrush. Applying criteria from our abundance model to a region-wide assessment of available private properties, we identified a ha abandoned farm situated along the Cordillera Septentrional between existing protected areas that contained environmental conditions suitable for Bicknell's Thrushes.

We used this information to identify, purchase, and create the Dominican Republic's first-ever private reserve, the ha Reserva Privada Zorzal. Our model can be used to identify and prioritize additional lands for conservation of the Bicknell's Thrush in the region. Our approach could also be used elsewhere to make informed conservation decisions. The most recent comprehensive estimates of Northern Spotted Owl Strix occidentalis caurina natal dispersal distances were reported in Since then, Northern Spotted Owl populations have experienced substantial demographic changes, with potential attendant changes in natal dispersal distances, including temporal or geographic trends.

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Mean net dispersal distance natal site to site of first attempted breeding was Dispersal direction also varied by ecoregion, following coarse-scale forest habitat configuration, and was bimodal north—south in the Oregon Coast Range, south—southwest in the Oregon and California Cascades, and showed little directionality in the Washington Eastern Cascades, Washington Coast and Cascades, and Oregon and California Klamath. We found no direct relationship between Barred Owl Strix varia detections near natal or settling locations and dispersal distance.

These findings, particularly the declining trend of dispersal distances, may inform management actions aimed toward conservation of the Northern Spotted Owl. Savanna and woodland are transitional vegetation communities that have largely disappeared while many early-successional bird species have simultaneously declined in abundance. Pine savanna and woodland are being restored in the Midwest through prescribed fire and tree thinning to create their characteristic open canopy, dense ground layer, and variable shrub cover.

Ideally, these restoration strategies for vegetation should also facilitate bird conservation objectives. We determined daily nest survival DSR for 6 songbird species, representing both shrub-nesting and canopy-nesting species, in southern Missouri, USA, in and We evaluated support for hypotheses relating temporal, vegetation, and management factors to DSR. We predicted that nest survival of the 3 shrub-nesting species Eastern Towhee [ Pipilo erythrophthalmus ], Yellow-breasted Chat [ Icteria virens ], and Prairie Warbler [ Setophaga discolor ] would show positive relationships with thinning and fire, but only Yellow-breasted Chat DSR was positively related to tree thinning.

However, pooling species into a shrub-nesting guild resulted in a positive relationship of nest survival with tree thinning and a weak relationship with fire. The canopy-nesting guild had higher DSR in thinned areas with lower basal area and less canopy cover. Our results demonstrate that pine savanna—woodland restoration in Missouri is providing high-quality breeding habitat for both shrub-nesting and canopy-nesting species, some of which are species of conservation concern.

Threats include habitat loss, invasive plants, non-native predators, and introduced diseases. Climate change is predicted to increase the geographic extent and intensity of these threats, adding urgency to implementation of tractable conservation strategies. We present a set of actionable research and management approaches, identified by conservation practitioners in Hawai'i, that will be critical for the conservation of Hawaiian forest birds in the coming years. We also summarize recent progress on these conservation priorities.

The impact of habitat loss on shorebirds may be exacerbated by disturbance from human recreational use, which further reduces the amount of coastal habitat that is functionally available. This can have consequences for the condition of individual birds or for population processes, both of which should be considered in strategies to reduce conflict between shorebirds and recreational users of coastal habitat.

Our objectives were to determine the associations between human recreational use, coastal habitat modifications, and Piping Plover Charadrius melodus body condition and demography. We monitored banded Piping Plovers throughout their annual cycle to assess variation in body condition, true survival, and site fidelity related to disturbance regimes in 8 geographically proximate, nonbreeding areas along the southeastern Atlantic Coast of North America from to Additionally, true annual survival was lower in more disturbed areas.

However, site fidelity was less influenced by disturbance than were body mass and survival. Associations among nonbreeding conditions, body condition, and demography highlight the importance of nonbreeding habitats to annual population dynamics of migratory species.

Conservation strategies for Piping Plovers that focus solely on breeding season dynamics may not account for some of the mechanisms that influence demographic rates and population trajectories. One goal of Habitat Conservation Plans is to protect viable populations of animal species. Management actions included in such plans often focus on vegetation restoration to benefit the target animal species. Yet, such restoration activities are often uninformed by fine-scale animal survey data. Using the California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica californica , we demonstrate how survey data can guide restoration toward the goal of improving gnatcatcher viability by identifying habitat conditions most favorable for gnatcatcher occupancy.

Open habitat was associated with southern aspects, shallow slopes, and inland areas. An understanding of the soil types and physical parameters of the environment that affect vegetation, especially the amount of coastal sagebrush needed for high gnatcatcher occupancy and colonization rates, will help to define restoration target conditions. Using multiseason, occupancy-based surveys in conjunction with detailed habitat measurements will allow ornithologists and land managers to design powerful restoration prescriptions, even within narrowly defined ecosystems. Avian species endemic to desert grasslands of North America contend with significant ecological challenges, including monsoonal rains, droughts, and variable temperatures.

These birds have evolved physiological and behavioral means of coping with such extremes, but ongoing changes to temperature and precipitation patterns are affecting their breeding phenology, reproductive success, and population growth rates. We examined how seasonal and daily weather conditions and habitat structure were associated with the nest survival of Arizona Grasshopper Sparrows Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus in the semidesert and plains grasslands of southeastern Arizona, USA.

The previous season's precipitation, large rain events, and nest concealment were the most important factors explaining DSR. Grasshopper Sparrow nest survival decreased with a wetter previous growing season and with large rain events on previous days. Nests that were more concealed had lower survival rates. There was some evidence that nest survival was lower later in the nesting season. Predation was the major cause of nest failure, suggesting complex interactions among predation, precipitation, and nest concealment.


Further, our findings suggest tradeoffs in the potential effects of future climate change on A. The increased frequency of extreme storm events predicted for the region may result in reduced nest survival of A.

Proper methods for euthanasia are critical for research with birds. Training in these methods is generally required by institutional animal care and use committees for any research that involves handling of birds, even if the intent is for birds to be released into the wild. Rapid cardiac compression RCC remains a preferred method for quick euthanasia in field settings but has not been described adequately in the literature. We describe proper application of RCC for euthanasia of small birds.

We also provide external cues for a bird as it progresses toward death as well as other considerations when using RCC. Most species are distributed such that their density and occupancy is greatest in one habitat, although they are found in other habitats. For example, a species with a high affinity for forests its primary habitat may also use urban areas and shrublands its alternative habitat , although occupancy of these habitats would be lower.

Good Bird Magazine Vol.4 Issue 4 TOC

While habitat loss is the main conservation threat for most species, less is known about how changes in primary and alternative habitats impact populations. We used a systematic bird survey of the state of Illinois that spanned the past century to investigate how use of specific habitats was related to population changes. Specifically, we used a hierarchical Bayesian model to investigate the relationship between changes in statewide occupancy probability a species would occur in a study site and use of specific habitats probability a species would be in a specific habitat within our study sites for 66 species sampled in — and — Changes in the use of alternative habitats, and not primary habitats, was related to overall changes in statewide occupancy.

Many species that increased over the past century did so by increasing their use of urban areas, while declining species declined the most in agricultural and grassland areas.

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Although primary habitats form the core of a species' distribution, alternative habitats may provide opportunities for a species to expand its distribution; conversely, declining species may abandon alternative habitats and contract into primary habitats. Consequently, alternative habitats may play an important role in the future of many species.

Understanding this role could be crucial for successful conservation. Understanding multiple challenges that restrict conservation success is a central task of applied ecology, especially when resources are limited and actions are expensive, such as with reintroduction programs. Simultaneous consideration of multiple hypotheses can expedite identification of factors that most limit conservation success.

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Since , reintroduction of a migratory population of Whooping Cranes Grus americana has been under way in eastern North America. Hatching success, however, has been extremely low. In our study area, in and near Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin, USA, we simultaneously tested 3 hypotheses explaining poor hatching success: harassment of incubating birds by black flies Simuliidae , effects of captivity, and inexperience of breeders. When black flies were experimentally suppressed, hatching probability doubled.

Daily nest survival for Whooping Cranes was strongly and negatively related to an index of black fly abundance, particularly of Simulium annulus. Daily nest survival was negatively but only weakly related to the number of generations that ancestors of breeding Whooping Cranes had been in captivity and was not related to nesting experience.

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We also examined whether Whooping Cranes were nesting later to avoid stress from black flies. Phenology shifted earlier with more growing degree days and greater nesting experience and was only weakly related to year. Overall, improved hatching success did not lead to better reproductive success.

By Francis Flagg

Although effects of black flies on hatching success can be mitigated through management, such actions would not be adequate to generate satisfactory population growth. Recognition of this limitation was hastened through experimentation.