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Accession Number PB2013-100910
Title Landbird Monitoring in the Southern Plains Network. 2012 Annual Report.
Publication Date Dec 2012
Media Count 82p
Personal Author H. Sosinski P. Valentine-Darby R. Lock R. E. Bennetts
Abstract In 2012, landbirds were surveyed within all of the Southern Plains Inventory & Monitoring Network (SOPN) parks. However, Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument (NM) and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (NRA) were treated as one park unit, and no sampling was specifically conducted at Alibates Flint Quarries NM. Sample points were located along a transect for linear features (e.g., most riparian habitats) or a grid for areal features. A total of 34 transects or grids were surveyed in 2012. Survey efforts were focused on the breeding season, when increased territorial behavior by songbirds results in higher detection rates and greater sampling efficiency. The window of primary breeding and, therefore, sampling, was from April through June, with adjustments made for individual park visits based on latitude and elevation. We used point-transect surveys to estimate and monitor landbird population parameters. Surveys were conducted three times for each transect or grid to facilitate estimates of occupancy, which rely on an encounter-history matrix derived from repeated visits, rather than a detection function to account for detectability. There was a total of 1,675 point visits (the number of unique points multiplied by the number of visits) on the 34 transects or grids. Of these, 1,237 were point visits in grassland habitats (including 51 point visits in pinyon-juniper woodland habitat) and 438 were point visits in riparian habitats. We recorded a total of 15,435 individual birds of 162 species on our points, with an additional 231 individual birds detected as flyovers. Pecos National Historical Park (NHP) had the highest number of individual birds counted (n = 2,321). Lyndon B. Johnson NHP had the lowest number of birds counted (n = 632). Species richness and community composition varied widely among the parks surveyed. We observed the greatest number of species at Pecos NHP (n = 70) and the fewest at Fort Union NM (n = 35). The number of individuals or species detected is influenced not only by the number of points, but also by the size and diversity of available habitats. Western Meadowlark was the most commonly detected species within the SOPN (n = 1,931), followed by Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, and Red-winged Blackbird. Two species, Brown-headed Cowbird and Mourning Dove, were detected at every park in the network, and nearly 50 species were detected at only one of the ten parks during surveys. New species, previously unverified in a given park, were recorded for 10 parks.
Keywords Birds
Environmental monitoring
Population dynamics
Seasonal variations
Southern Plains Network
Terrestrial ecosystems

Source Agency National Park Service
NTIS Subject Category 48B - Natural Resource Management
57Z - Zoology
57H - Ecology
Corporate Author National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. Natural Resource Stewardship and Science.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1309
Contract Number N/A

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