Use of regional breeding bird surveys to estimate bird populations in Big Thicket National Preserve
We used data collected during surveys of seven North American Breeding Bird Survey routes in eastern Texas to estimate avian populations within Big Thicket National Preserve. On only 61 of the 350 count locations located along these routes did observers monitor birds within the boundaries of this preserve. On selected routes, we recorded initial bird detections during the 3-min bird count within 1-min time intervals and within two distance classes (≤50 or >50 m). We used these data, combined with data collected using standard Breeding Bird Survey protocols during 2009–2016, to estimate detection probabilities and effective detection radii for commonly detected species. For species often detected in flocks, we estimated these parameters for group detections. From these parameters, we estimated regional densities for 60 species. Because habitat within Big Thicket National Preserve differed from habitat along surveyed routes, for each species we adjusted the projected population estimate to account for the relationship between density of detected birds and habitat descriptors from the National Land Cover database. On the basis of our estimates of regional density of each species, and accounting for differences in habitat availability, we estimated that commonly detected avian species comprises a population of 192,201 breeding birds (95% confidence interval = 144,269–340,790) within Big Thicket National Preserve.
|Use of regional breeding bird surveys to estimate bird populations in Big Thicket National Preserve
|Daniel J. Twedt, Clifford E. Shackelford
|The Southwestern Naturalist
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Eastern Ecological Science Center