Distribution and Habitat Relationships of Migratory Songbirds
We are examining the distribution and habitat characteristics of migratory songbirds that breed in grasslands of the northern Great Plains and winter in managed forests throughout Louisiana. Our research will increase knowledge regarding the influence of pine forest management on several species of conservation concern that winter in the southeast and could help inform more comprehensive management strategies for grassland-nesting birds.
State-and-Transition Models for Wildlife Management
We are using avian demographic information, fire history, and an extensive vegetation data set to demonstrate how wildlife responses could be incorporated into a state-and-transition model framework. Our approach could help land managers determine the types, levels, intensities, and locations of management activities to minimize the negative effects or enhance the positive effects of disturbance on wildlife.
Bat Use of Forests in Louisiana
Bats make up ~20% of known mammalian species and provide important ecosystem services, including pest control, crop pollination, and forest regeneration. Unfortunately, we lack information regarding the potential effects of human activity on bat diversity in many regions of the U.S. We are examining how bats use urban and rural forests in Louisiana and how bats respond to forest management practices across the state. Our research could assist with conservation and management of bats in Louisiana and other locations throughout the southeast.
Golden-cheeked Warbler Demographics and Behavior
In addition to our geolocator project, we are collaborating with researchers across the warbler's breeding range to examine post-breeding habitat use, regional variation in song characteristics, movement patterns, population estimates, factors that influence warbler productivity, and much more. We are developing an updated distribution model of the warbler's wintering range and we are using change detection analyses to forecast locations at greatest risk of habitat conversion on both the wintering and breeding grounds. The goal of our warbler research is to provide tools that land managers and their conservation partners can use to manage risks to warblers during all stages of their life cycle, which is a necessary step toward recovery of this endangered species.
Coastal Prairie Remnants
Over the last 200 years, human development and agriculture have contributed to the loss of >99% of coastal prairie in Louisiana. These grasslands are important to many plant and animals species in the state. We are using remotely sensed data and GIS to identify coastal prairie remnants and hope that our efforts can help with conservation of this important ecosystem!