Paprocki, Neil – Warming winters and changing habitats: interactive effects on animal populations and implications for conservation
Winter mortality and habitat quality can affect the reproductive success of raptors during the breeding season. Crucial shrub-steppe wintering raptor habitat in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) is currently being lost due mainly to the invasion of exotic grasses such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). The impact of this loss of native habitat over time, along with changing global climate trends, is relatively unknown on raptors. I will be conducting wintering raptor point count and road surveys in the NCA during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons. These current occupancy rates will then be compared to historical data from the early 1990s in the NCA to determine what factors (habitat, climate, etc.) are driving changes in wintering raptor occupancy and distribution.