Comparison of Florida Scrub-Jay Juvenile Production in Different Landscapes
The purpose of this study is to understand habitat needs of the Florida Scrub-Jay. Habitat loss and degradation threatens this bird with extinction. Comparing juvenile production in different landscapes facilitates understanding about demographic habitat relationships. This knowledge will help in habitat restoration projects on Kennedy Space Center.
Justification and Background
The Florida Scrub-Jay is the only endemic bird to the state of Florida and is threatened with extinction.
Their habitat is becoming fragmented and degraded making it hard to have nest success.
Two study sites were selected because of the difference in habitat.
The optimal habitat is dry oak scrub measuring between 120cm and 170cm with open sandy areas.
This habitat is controlled by natural and prescribed fires.
Above: (Left) The Happy Creek study site has become dense and overgrown due to fire suppression. (Right) The Tel-4 study site has an optimal habitat for the Florida Scrub-Jay to breed and survive.
Peanuts were used to bring the birds in close enough to see the bands on the legs.
Juveniles were selected to count because they are a measure of overall demographic success.
Counting juveniles measures the success of each breeding pair and gives an estimated number of birds that will be breeding in the upcoming years.
The number of juveniles from each study site are compared to see if they are significantly different.
Significance was determined using the Mann-Whitney Test.
Above: (Left) The adult Florida Scrub-Jay has a blue head and back with some gray. (Right) The juvenile Florida Scrub-Jay has a brown head and back and is nutritionally independent from the parents. (Donna Oddy)
Author: Erin Allman, SLSTP 2004 Ecology Trainee
Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
Principal Investigator: Geoffrey Carter, Dynamac Corporation, Kennedy Space Center
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