Distribution and habitat requirements of the Bahama Warbler Setophaga flavescens on Grand Bahama in 2018

Pereira, David J., Gardner, Matthew A., Geary, Matthew, Bell, Diana J. and Collar, Nigel (2023) Distribution and habitat requirements of the Bahama Warbler Setophaga flavescens on Grand Bahama in 2018. Bird Conservation International, 33. ISSN 0959-2709

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The Bahama Warbler Setophaga flavescens is restricted to Grand Bahama and Abaco in the Bahamas Islands, where in recent decades its pine forest habitat has been seriously affected by hurricanes. To assess its conservation status and determine its habitat requirements, we conducted point transects with playback and simultaneously took measurements at 464 locations in pine forest across Grand Bahama from April to June 2018. Warbler presence was predicted by taller Thatch Palms Thrinax radiata and some fire disturbance, and its absence by a higher number of needleless pines. A comparison of these habitat predictors between the combined regions where warblers were detected (Lucayan Estates and East End) vs. where they were not (West End and Freeport) also revealed that Bahama Warblers showed a marked preference for taller Thatch Palms (>140 cm) and habitat plots within the middle fire disturbance category. These findings suggest that the species is adapted to a climax pine forest habitat maintained under a standard fire regime. Our research was intended to provide a first baseline study of the warbler’s distribution and ecology on Grand Bahama, but the distribution may have radically changed following Hurricane Dorian’s devastation of the island in 2019, and the species may now only survive on Abaco. Nevertheless, ecological insights from Grand Bahama seem likely to help conservation management on Abaco, but both islands now need to be surveyed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens and the Sir Philip Reckitt Educational Trust
Uncontrolled Keywords: bahama warbler,grand bahama,habitat preferences,point transects,population distribution,ecology,animal science and zoology,nature and landscape conservation ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2303
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 03:48
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 08:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/90064
DOI: 10.1017/S095927092200048X


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