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A survey protocol for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)

April 1, 1994

The southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) is a riparian obligate neotropical migrant, nesting in cottonwood-willow associations and structurally similar riparian vegetation associations. The southwestern willow flycatcher has declined through the twentieth century, primarily due to a number of factors, including loss and fragmentation of riparian habitat, brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), invasion of riparian habitat by the exotic tamarisk (Tamarix sp.), and predation (Hunter et al. 1987), Unitt 1987, Hunter et al. 1988, Whitfield 1990, Harris 1991, Rosenberg et al. 1991). In 1991 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) designated the southwestern willow flycatcher as a candidate category 1 species (USFWS 1991), indicating that the USFWS had sufficient information to support listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), but that a proposal to list was precluded by other listing actions of higher priority. In July 1993, the USFWS proposed to list E. t. extimus as an endangered species and to designate critical habitat under the Act (USFWS 1993). The states of Arizona, New Mexico, and California comprise most of the southwestern willow flycatcher's historic and current range. Each of these states lists the species as endangered [Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) 1988, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) 1988, California Department of Game and Fish 1991].

Because of the precarious status of the southwestern willow flycatcher (Unitt 1987, USFWS 1993), there is a need to identify as many remaining breeding locations as possible. This survey protocol was developed to facilitate and standardize breeding surveys, and is based primarily on extensive 1992 and 1993 field surveys. It was developed at the request of the Arizona Partners in flight, and organization of Federal and State agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals. This protocol is intended to be useful throughout the range of the southwestern willow flycatcher. The authors welcome any suggestions on refining this protocol.

Publication Year 1994
Title A survey protocol for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus)
Authors Timothy J. Tibbitts, Mark K. Sogge, Susan J. Sferra
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Series Number Technical Report NPS/NAUCPRS/NRTR-94/04
Index ID 70129513
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse