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Accession Number 5004264

Title A metapopulation viability analysis for the golden-cheeked warbler

Project Description The purpose of this study is to extend the population viability analysis (PVA) of the

golden-cheeked warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) to a metapopulation model. This endangered

species nests in oak-juniper woodlands in central Texas and winters in high-elevation, pine-oak

woodlands of Mexico and Central America. The most recent PVA for this species was conducted

in 1995 (USFWS, 1996, Golden-cheeked warbler population and habitat viability assessment

report, compiled and edited by C. Beardmore, J. Hatfield, and J. Lewis). This report documented

the need for a PVA based on patch size of occupied fragments of habitat. To do this analysis, a

spatially explicit model is needed which allows for dispersal of individuals among habitat

fragments, or patches, and breeding and survival of individuals tailored to patch size. This would

require estimating these parameters using valid statistical techniques among habitat fragments of

various patch sizes. Since 1995, improved population parameter estimates have become available

from several studies (Fort. Hood, Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, Balcones

Canyonlands Preserve, others). This project would summarize all known productivity, survival, and

dispersal information for the warbler by territory (after the breeding season of the Spring of 2001),

and link the parameter estimates to patch size. These parameter estimates would be linked to the

Austin Fish and Wildlife Services geographic information system (GIS) depicting the distribution

of oak-juniper woodland (based on 1996/1997 satellite imagery) throughout the warblers range.

The GIS would be used to estimate the size of fragments for which productivity, survival, and

dispersal data are available. All of this information will then be incorporated into a metapopulation

model for the warbler using RAMAS Metapop software. The updated PVA, based on the best

available information, is critical to estimating the amount and configuration of habitat necessary to

sustain a viable warbler population.

Keywords dendroica chrysoparia, geographic information system, golden-cheeked warbler, metapopulation,

population viability analysis,

Principal Jeff S Hatfield, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: jeff_hatfield@usgs.gov; David D

Investigators Diamond, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: david_diamond@usgs.gov;

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