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Occupancy, Detection, and Habitat Associations of Secretive Marsh Bird Species in New York State 2004-2006

In 2004, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) initiated a 3-year study to determine occupancy of marsh bird species in emergent wetlands on public lands that could be used to guide development of a long-term monitoring plan in New York. We used call-broadcast surveys, as described by the Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocols (Conway 2011), to elicit responses from six focal species: pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) (state-listed threatened), king rail (Rallus elegans) (state-listed threatened), Virginia rail (Rallus limicola) (state-regulated migratory game bird species), sora (Porzana carolina) (state-regulated migratory game bird species), least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) (state-listed threatened), and American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) (state-listed species of special concern). The primary objectives of this project were to: 1) determine distribution of focal species at selected wetlands throughout New York; 2) test the effectiveness of broadcast surveys to elicit responses from focal species; and 3) measure occupancy and detection rates of focal species, particularly as a function of habitat variables. Surveys were conducted throughout New York State, primarily in state managed wetlands. The final report from this study entitled Occupancy, Detection, and Habitat Associations of Secretive Marsh Bird Species in New York State 2004 - 2006 (pdf, 4.1mb) is available by following the link in the right hand column of this page. The Table of Contents is provided below.


List of Figures

List of Tables

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Study Area

3.0 Methods

3.1 Data Collection

3.2 GIS Analysis

3.3 Data Analysis

3.3.1 Detection

3.3.2. Habitat at Detection and Non-Detection Sites

3.3.3 Occupancy and Habitat Modeling

4.0 Results

4.1 Distribution

4.2 Detection

4.3 Habitat at Detection and Non-Detection Sites

4.4 Occupancy Estimation and Habitat Modeling

4.4.1 Virginia rail

4.4.2 Sora

4.4.3 Least Bittern

4.4.4. American Bittern

4.4.5 Pied-Billed Grebe

5.0 Discussion

5.1 Distribution

5.1.1 Virginia Rail

5.1.2 King Rail

5.1.3 Sora

5.1.4 Least Bittern

5.1.5 American Bittern

5.1.6 Pied-Billed Grebe

5.2 Detection

5.3 Occupancy Estimation and Habitat Modeling

5.3.1 Virginia Rail

5.3.2 Sora

5.3.3 Least Bittern

5.3.4 American Bittern

5.3.5 Pied-Billed Grebe

6.0 Management Considerations

6.1 Monitoring

6.2 Habitat Management

6.2.1 Virginia Rail

6.2.2 Sora

6.2.3 American Bittern

6.2.4 Least Bittern

6.2.5 Pied-Billed Grebe

7.0 Literature Cited

8.0 APPENDIX A - Study Area Details and Survey Results