Based on Project Black-Hawk 2011 spring and summer riparian raptor surveys along 211 km of San Francisco and Gila Rivers in New Mexico, correlations between metrics of riparian ecosystem health and Common Black-Hawk nest site utilization were addressed using macro habitat suitability modeling with a Geographic Information System (GIS), and micro habitat analysis of Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBP) through the use of logistic regression analysis. The habitat suitability model demonstrated that areas more than 1000 m to a road, within 800 m to a river, and within the immediate riparian vegetation zone were classified as preferred habitat, as 93% of Common Black-Hawk nests occurred in these areas. Analysis of RBP stream assessments indicate geomorphic complexity of the river channel (meaning the amount of braided channels, side pools, side channels, springs, and oxbows) to be significant to the location of active Common Black-Hawk nests as well as cumulative RBP score. Each unit increase in geomorphic complexity increases the odds of active nest presence by 1.34, and each unit increase in RBP cumulative score increases the odds of active nest presence by 1.08. Furthermore, examination of climate change projections indicate New Mexico’s increasing temperatures will produce greater evaporative loss of water in those critical riparian habitats so that the suitable habitats are available in more limited locations and for shorter time spans relative to the critical feeding season for Common Black-Hawk. Geomorphic complexity features may prove to be even more important for nesting habitat, by providing an increased variety of habitat for prey as water levels decrease.
|Commitee:||Johnson, Matthew, Wetzel, Melanie|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Management, Ecology, Climate Change, Conservation|
|Keywords:||GIS, Nesting, New Mexico, Raptor, Stream assessment|
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