Habitat Analysis and Detection of the Cerulean Warbler on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Cheryl Geiger

Abstract


The cerulean warbler is defined as a conservation reliant species, meaning that their future depends on the application of conservation forest management practices. The declining populations of –4.2% per year since 1966 have gained the cerulean warbler status as a focal species of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and listing as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Avian ecologists only have a rudimentary understanding of cerulean warbler habitat associations and preferences. The first objective of our study was to conduct point count studies to survey for presence of the cerulean warbler. The second objective was to perform habitat analysis on known nest sites. Results indicate that cerulean warblers have an association with gaps located near contiguous forest. These results are supported by the location of successful nests in gaps with increased foliage cover with decreased height. It is suspected that the nests occurred in gaps because singing females, who probably chose the nest-sites, could be heard with little acoustic interference from the foliage.

Keywords


Cerulean Warbler; Detection; Habitat Analysis

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