Habitat use by the golden-cheeked warbler in Texas

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Title: Habitat use by the golden-cheeked warbler in Texas
Author: Newnam, John Calvin
Abstract: Understanding species -habitat relationships is fundamental to the conservation of a species . This is especially important when the species is considered endangered . The Golden -cheeked Warbler is a habitat specialist that breeds only in oak -juniper woodlands (considered a climax forest ) of central Texas . The warbler was listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act primarily because of habitat loss and fragmentation . Conservation measures include the preservation of existing habitat and attempts to manage and enhance areas that once supported the warbler to return to the climax oak -juniper woodlands . My objectives were (1 ) to quantify the vegetation structure and species composition by vegetation volume of occupied warbler habitat across the breeding range in Texas and (2 ) to quantify the habitat use by the warbler in categories of behavior , substrate , height , and tree species . Instantaneous , focal animal behavioral observations were collected for three breeding seasons at six sites across the range of the warbler . Warbler behavior and microhabitat use were compared to availability of vegetation volume by height class and tree species . I found that Goldencheeked Warbler habitat varied by vegetation volume , canopy height and tree species among all sites . The warbler preferred twigs and foliage and the upper two height classes of the habitat structure for all behaviors . Tree species use did not match availability at any sites . The one consistent species result was the warbler used Ashe juniper significantly less than it occurred at all sites . Other major species were used disproportionately to the species occurrence at each site . Some tree species were used more often than they occur in the habitat while others species were used less than they occur in the habitat . Preferences for height class and tree species use were not significantly influenced by vegetation volume . Some other factor not measured such as prey availability may be the cause . Because warbler habitat characteristics and use vary across the range , any efforts to manipulate vegetation to become habitat must consider regional characteristics of Golden -cheeked warbler habitat .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3263
Date: 2009-05-15

Citation

Habitat use by the golden-cheeked warbler in Texas. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3263 .

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