Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Gritidach Manakitivipart - Humboldt State University
Co-Author(s): Maia Persche, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Kathy Granillo, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, Socorro, NM
The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located in central New Mexico, is unique among the protected areas of the southwestern United States due to its landscape diversity. Four major biotic zones intersect on the refuge, creating a biologically diverse ecosystem that has attracted scientists internationally. One such biome, the piñon-juniper woodland, provides breeding habitat for the Gray Vireo (Vireo vicinior, hereafter ‘vireo’), a songbird listed as threatened within the state of New Mexico. Limited information is available in this part of the state regarding the vireo’s nesting success and even less is known about the species’ response to low-intensity prescribed fire. The objective of our project is to investigate the species’ breeding biology and provide relevant data to inform future management activity in vireo habitat. We conducted point surveys, nest monitoring, and vegetation measurements on three locations within the Los Piños Mountains on the eastern portion of the Sevilleta NWR. Prescribed fire was applied to one study site within the mountains in the spring of 2015. Preliminary comparison with available before treatment data from 2014 suggests that vireos avoid an area of the study site that was burned, despite the availability of suitable nesting habitat. We will compile and analyze vireo and vegetation community data from four previous field seasons to produce a detailed report on vireo populations in this area. We recommend ongoing monitoring efforts within the Sevilleta NWR to gain a better understanding of the vireo population dynamics in connection to prescribed fire.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF-REU Program: University of New Mexico Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research REU.- Humboldt State University CSU-LSAMP Grant (HRD-1302873)- Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Faculty Advisor: Kathy Granillo,