Breeding population density and habitat use of swainson's warblers in a Georgia floodplain forest
Wright, Elizabeth Ann
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I examined density and habitat use of a Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) breeding population in Georgia. This songbird species is inadequately monitored, and may be declining due to anthropogenic alteration of floodplain forest breeding habitats. I used distance sampling methods to estimate density, finding 9.4 singing males/ha (CV = 0.298). Individuals were encountered too infrequently to produce a low-variance estimate, and distance sampling thus may be impracticable for monitoring this relatively rare species. I developed a set of multivariate habitat models using binary logistic regression techniques, based on measurement of 22 variables in 56 plots occupied by Swainson’s Warblers and 110 unoccupied plots. Occupied areas were characterized by high stem density of cane (Arundinaria gigantea) and other shrub layer vegetation, and presence of abundant and accessible leaf litter. I recommend two habitat models, which correctly classified 87-89% of plots in cross-validation runs, for potential use in habitat assessment at other locations.