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Wednesday, January 27 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
Effects of Brush Management on the Reproductive Output of an Endangered Songbird

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AUTHORS: Daniel G. Kovar*, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jinelle H. Sperry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and David A. Cimprich, United States Army

ABSTRACT: Terrestrial habitats are frequently managed to improve the perceived economic or aesthetic value of the land as well as improve habitat quality for wildlife species. In central Texas, removal of native Ashe juniper Juniperus ashei is a common landscape management practice due to its propensity for invasion of rangeland, vigorous growth leading to dominance of habitats, and reputation for high water use. While junipers provide habitat for wildlife species of economic (e.g., white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus, wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo) and conservation concern (e.g., golden-cheeked warbler Setophaga chrysoparia), the relationship between junipers and the federally endangered black-capped vireo Vireo atricapilla is less clear. Black-capped vireos breed in early successional shrublands where junipers are often able to invade, grow quickly, and shade out the deciduous shrubby vegetation preferred by vireos. Although juniper removal in vireo habitat is common practice, relatively little is known about the impacts of brush management on vireo use and reproductive success. Here we present results of a study on the effects of a selective juniper removal treatment, in which juniper trees were removed but surrounding deciduous vegetation was left intact, on black-capped vireo habitat use reproductive success. We found that the number of black-capped vireos settling in manipulated habitats remained the same, the size of the average territory decreased, and that nest success did not appear to change. We conclude that, when steps are taken to avoid disturbing the surrounding deciduous vegetation, selective juniper removal is unlikely to negatively affect black-capped vireos.

Wednesday January 27, 2016 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
Emerald A