Geographical Analysis of Male Golden-Winged Warbler Territory in Central Appalachia

Authors: Lee Ann Nolan*, West Virginia University, Kyle Aldinger, West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia University, Petra Wood, U.S. Geological Survey, West Virginia Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, West Virginia University
Topics: Animal Geographies
Keywords: golden-winged warblers, territory, Central Appalachia, GIS, habitat use
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to list the golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) under the Endangered Species Act, and has issued a “positive finding” in 2016, which triggers a more thorough review. The golden-winged warbler has experienced significant population declines in the southern part of its breeding range in the Appalachian Mountains and upper Midwest. Their breeding habitat is the shrub and brush of an early succession forest. The golden-winged warbler breeds in colonies of up to 10 pairs with each male having an exclusive territory.
A geographical analysis is performed of male golden-winged warbler territory in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Territories are derived from hundreds of observational points using minimum convex polygons and kernel density estimation. The relationship of territories to various landscape characteristics, such as distance to forest edge and land cover type, are also calculated. This study adds to the literature by providing further information about the territory characteristics of the golden-winged warbler, especially in the central Appalachian Mountains, and this information can be used to aid conservation efforts.

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