Open Access Thesis
Master of Science (M.S.)
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A large amount of the world’s biodiversity is located in a disproportionately small amount of area, namely the tropics. Many of these areas are experiencing rapid landscape changes, mainly in the form of deforestation for agricultural practices. Current conservation efforts are focused on agricultural areas and their ability to provide habitat. The conservation value of a novel land-sparing agroforestry system, known as Integrated Open Canopy (IOC), was recently demonstrated on the study site when applied to coffee. IOC coffee supports forest species that are uncommon or absent in shade grown coffee. I generated best management practices for IOC farms relative to the conservation of forest-dependent birds by examining what features support the highest richness of species. The goal was to help develop guidelines for the implementation of IOC grown coffee.
The Golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is a Neartic-Neotropical migrant of high conservation priority which has been documented using a range of nonbreeding habitat types, including IOC coffee farms. However, as is the case with many migrant species, little is known about whether survival differs among habitats. Though generally forest dependent, previous work found Golden-winged warblers select for habitat features other than categorical forest types, such as canopy height and microhabitat features. In an attempt to identify quality nonbreeding habitat, I estimated Golden-winged survival rates specific to an array of habitat features.
Ritterson, Jeffrey D., "Generating Best Management Practices for Avian Conservation in a Land-Sparing Agriculture System, and the Habitat-Specific Survival of a Priority Migrant" (2015). Masters Theses. 295.