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Title: Distribution and Habitat Use of Swainson's Warblers in Eastern and Northern Arkansas

Author: Bednarz, James C.; Stiller-Krehel, Petra; Cannon, Brian;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 1 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 576-588

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Systematic surveys of hardwood forests along the Buffalo National River, the St. Francis Sunken Lands Wildlife Management Area, St. Francis National Forest, Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area, and the White River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern and northern Arkansas were undertaken between 5 April and 30 June 2000 and 2001 to document current status, distribution, and habitat requirements of Swainson’s Warblers (Limnothlypis swainsonii) in Arkansas. Swainson's Warblers (SWWAs) were detected at 16 sites in deciduous forests at the Buffalo National River, 11 locations at the St. Francis National Forest, 19 sites at the White River National Wildlife Refuge, and 10 sites in bottomland habitat at the St. Francis Sunken Lands. We measured vegetation characteristics at 48 SWWA detection sites and at 48 randomly located sites. At the Buffalo National River, sites occupied by SWWAs showed a significantly (P < 0.001) greater leaf litter cover (x̄ = 59.5 percent) than random sites (x̄ = 41.1 percent). When comparing warbler detection sites with random sites at the St. Francis Sunken Lands, there was no significant difference for any variable, which probably reflected the limited sample size. In the St. Francis National Forest, shrub cover (8.9 percent) and shrub stem density (14.1/m²) were greater at SWWA detection sites than in random plots (1.1 percent and 3.1/m², respectively). Several differences were found at the White River National Wildlife Refuge, including greater canopy cover, leaf litter cover and shrub stem density, but lower total green cover and forb cover at sites with SWWAs than at random sites. Based on the pooled data set, SWWA detection sites differed significantly (P < 0.05) from random sites by having greater shrub cover (x̄ = 13.3 percent vs. 10 percent), leaf litter cover (x̄ = 69.5 percent vs. 51.0 percent), canopy cover (x̄ = 89.3 percent vs. 80.9 percent), and stem density (x̄ = 10.9/m² vs. 5.1/m²). Using logistic regression, we found stem density and leaf litter cover to be significantly (P < 0.05) associated with the occupancy probability of SWWAs at a specific site. The model correctly assigned detection and random sites for 73 of 96 samples (76 percent). Management suggestions to improve habitat for SWWAs include implementing individual tree and small-group selection cutting in appropriate deciduous habitat and controlled burning in decadent cane stands. To develop effective conservation strategies, further investigation into the demographic patterns (e.g., reproductive success and survival), especially related to different habitat and landscape situations occupied by this species, is critically needed.

Keywords: Arkansas, distribution, habitat modeling, Limnothlypis swainsonii, management, Swainson's Warbler

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Bednarz, James C.; Stiller-Krehel, Petra; Cannon, Brian 2005. Distribution and Habitat Use of Swainson's Warblers in Eastern and Northern Arkansas. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., eds. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 576-588

 


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