Advancing broad scale ecological assessment using bird community indicators

Publication Year:

In recent years, several authors have developed ecological indicators for broad scale assessment that are based on the condition of landbird assemblages. These indicators are typically referenced to a physiographic province or geopolitical region, and rely on specific knowledge of life history of breeding birds. In some regions, bird-based indicators have been used in concert with land cover and other taxa-specific indicators to provide integrated assessments of ecological condition, but efforts to expand that approach to other regions have been slowed by a lack of indicators and/or source data to which those indicators could be applied. I investigated the application of conservation value (CV) scores derived from Partners in Flight prioritization scores and applied to data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) as a remedy for the current shortage of geographically dependent indicators. I compared CV scores to scores of existing indicators (the Bird Community Index) in the Central Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain based on random selections of BBS data from 1973 and 2000. To demonstrate the approach in a region for which no other indicator was available, I derived CV scores for random selections of BBS data from the Northwestern Great Plains, also for 1973 and 2000. Results indicated that average CV scores across regions generally provided similar information to Bird Community Index scores, but CV scores were less closely associated with net land cover change over time. The CV scores offer potential for use as broad scale indicators, but may be most useful in targeted studies of specifi c management effect.

Conference name:
Proceedings of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics
Item Type:
Conference Paper
Attachment Size
OConnell_PIF09.pdf 211.29 KB

EIS custom tag descriptions