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Breeding Bird Response to Pine-Grassland Community Restoration for Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers
Christopher W. Wilson, Ronald E. Masters and George A. Bukenhofer
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 56-67
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809116
Page Count: 12
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Plans exist to restore the fire-dependent pine (Pinus spp.)-grassland community in Ouachita National Forest and potentially throughout the southeastern United States to benefit the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis). Restoration and management techniques include wildlife stand improvement (WSI; thinning of midstory and codominant trees) and prescribed fire. We evaluated how habitat improvement for the red-cockaded woodpecker affected other breeding bird species. We compared avian species frequency of occurrence and abundance during 2 breeding seasons in untreated pine-hardwood stands with that in treated stands after WSI and in 3 growing seasons following WSI and prescribed fire. Total bird densities were highest (P = 0.037) in the second growing season following WSI and fire and lowest in the control, whereas species richness did not differ (P = 0.399) among treatments. Densities of ground/shrub-foraging and shrub-nesting species increased (P = 0.002 and 0.002, respectively) the most following WSI and fire. Only ground-nesting species were more abundant (P < 0.001) in untreated stands than in treated stands. Restoration efforts may be beneficial to neotropical migrant species such as eastern woodpewee (Contopus virens) and prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor), in addition to declining species of regional interest such as red-cockaded woodpecker, Bachman's sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis), and northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) that depend upon pine-grassland habitats.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1995 Wiley