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Population size of island loggerhead shrikes on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands

February 1, 2012

Island loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi) are an endemic, genetically distinct subspecies of loggerhead shrike on California's Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Catalina Islands (USA). This subspecies is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the California Department of Fish and Game and has been petitioned for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. The combination of suspected low numbers and the possibility of federal listing, prompted us to undertake a study to rigorously estimate the number of remaining individuals on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands. During the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons, we surveyed sample units on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands using a double‐observer method with independent observers to estimate joint detection probabilities (p), where we selected units under a stratified random sampling design. We estimated shrike abundance to be 169 in 2009 (p = 0.476) and 240 in 2010 (p = 0.825) for Santa Rosa Island, and 35 in 2009 (p = 0.816) and 42 in 2010 (p = 0.710) for Santa Cruz Island. These numbers, especially for Santa Rosa Island, are higher than previously reported but nevertheless are still low. Rapid vegetation change on both islands due to recent removal of nonnative herbivores may threaten the habitat and status of this subspecies and, therefore, we suggest that intensive demographic and habitat use research be initiated immediately to obtain additional information vital for the management of this subspecies.

Publication Year 2012
Title Population size of island loggerhead shrikes on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands
DOI 10.1002/wsb.108
Authors Thomas R. Stanley, Susan Teel, Linnea S. Hall, Linda C. Dye, Lyndal L. Laughrin
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Wildlife Society Bulletin
Index ID 70118143
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center