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ISRN Ecology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 359572, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/359572
Research Article

Breeding Bird Relationships to Landscape Metrics in Coastal Plain Georgia

1Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 9690, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
2School of Natural Resources, Department of Forestry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Received 7 December 2011; Accepted 22 January 2012

Academic Editor: C. Carcaillet

Copyright © 2012 Brice B. Hanberry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Some avian species in the southeastern United States are declining, and population decreases may arise from changes in vegetation type area or structural condition. Our objective was to compare abundance of conservation priority bird species with landscape variables. We found, even in the highly forested Coastal Plain of Georgia, that areal extent and core area of cover types were related to abundance for certain bird species. Acadian flycatcher and field sparrow had models that incorporated positive area variables. Downy woodpecker, northern parula, orchard oriole, prairie warbler, and summer tanager had models that included positive area and edge associations with varying scales and vegetation types. Edge appeared in models for red-bellied woodpecker, blue jay, and brown-headed cowbird. More than half of all species did not have models that met prediction thresholds. Systematic assessment of area requirements for declining species provides information for management, conservation, and research.