The use of GIS remotely sensed data in predicting the occurrence of two endangered avian species in central Texas
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Over the last 50 to 150 years there has been widespread conversion of grassland to shrubland throughout the western United States. A major management concern on the Edwards Plateau is the encroachment of Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei). To facilitate brush management programs, I investigated relationships of two endangered species, the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapillus) and the golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia), with their habitats at the landscape level. GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and remotely sensed data, such as Landsat imagery, DEMs (Digital Elevation Maps), and DOQQs (Digital Ortho Quarter Quads) were used to evaluate vegetative and geomorphic features within both 100m- and 400m-radius areas surrounding occupied and (assumed) unoccupied sites. Stepwise-logistic regression was used to develop probability models for each species within a catchment and was then applied to the entire Leon River Watershed and evaluated for accuracy. Golden-cheeked warblers were identified in areas with mean juniper cover greater than 70%, mean departure from North (aspect), and maximum slope. For black-capped vireos, mean shrub cover, mean departure from North, and mean slope were important in habitat selection. Variables at the 400m spatial scale best identified areas of probable occurrence for both species, indicating that features of landscape surrounding a territory may play an important role in habitat selection.
Cummins, Tiffany (2005). The use of GIS remotely sensed data in predicting the occurrence of two endangered avian species in central Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from