Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Conservation opportunity assessment for rare birds in the midwestern United States: a private lands imperative
Thogmartin, W.E. and Rohweder, J.J., 2009, Conservation opportunity assessment for rare birds in the midwestern United States: a private lands imperative. in Rich, T.D., C. Arizmendi, D. Demarest and C. Thompson [eds.]. Tundra to Tropics: Connecting Birds, Habitats and People. Proceedings of the 4th International Partners in Flight Conference, 13-16 February 2008. McAllen, TX. Partners in Flight, p.419-425.
Applying conservation in an efficient manner is desirable in a constrained economic climate. Mapped predictions of species abundance may allow the spatial targeting of focal areas for conservation, increasing the efficiency of conservation application. We overlayed mapped patterns in predicted relative abundance, from hierarchical spatial count models for 11 species of conservation concern, against digital data layers describing federal-, tribal-, and state-managed lands to identify the relative contribution of governmental agencies in the conservation of rare bird habitat in the Prairie Hardwood Transition (Bird Conservation Region 23). The proportion of predicted populations under direct governmental jurisdiction differed by habitat guild, with 0.5%, 1.3%, and 1.0% of grassland birds occurring on federal-, state-, and tribal-managed lands, respectively, and 2.8%, 17.9%, and 3.1% of forest birds occurring on federal-, state-, and tribal-managed lands, respectively. Irrespective of habitat guild, the vast majority of most species were predicted to occur on private lands (with Cerulean Warbler [Dendroica cerulea] as a notable exception). This importance of private lands for the conservation of rare birds in the midwestern U.S. has profound consequences for how natural resource agencies should direct their effort if they are to be successful conservators of these trust resources. The maps of predicted abundances relative to governmentally managed lands that we provided may be used to prioritize and focus management on private lands in the Prairie Hardwood Transition. This spatial targeting of conservation effort represents an efficient, accountable, and scientifically justifiable approach to the management of species of conservation concern.
Conservation Design, land management, private lands, public land