Bird-habitat relationships in the shrubsteppe of Hanford National MonumentEntry ID: USGS_FRESC-464_Hanford_Avian_Habitat
Abstract: The Excel spreadsheet contains data from 318 point-count locations, including abundance of 8 focal avian species, field measurements of vegetative characteristics, and key cover type characteristics derived from remotely-sensed data. All point-count locations were within the Hanford Reach National Monument in southeastern Washington.
Purpose: Data were collected to examine avian abundance in relation to shrubsteppe habitat characteristics, specifically whether avian abundance differed in bunchgrass or cheatgrass understory and whether both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush were valuable in understanding avian abundance.
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Earnst, S.L. and A.L. Holmes
Dataset Title: Bird-habitat relationships in Interior Columbia Basin shrubsteppe
Dataset Release Date: 2012
Data Presentation Form: Maps and data
Other Citation Details: FRESC Study #464
ISO Topic Category
In preliminary analyses, we used the program Distance with the hazard-rate detection function and found that the probability of detection was high for the eight focal species within a 100-m radius. Thus, in the bird–habitat analysis presented here, we use only observations ... within a 100-m fixed radius of the point, which also ensured that the area of vegetation sampling coincided with avian observations. The study design ensured that cover types were equally distributed across observers, dates, and times of day, reducing potential biases in comparisons by habitat, which are the focus of this study. Accuracy was also improved by conducting surveys only between 0.25 and 2.5 hr after local sunrise and not during rain or winds >20 km per hr.
Data were entered into Excel on the day of collection by the person who collected the data. Data were later proofed by comparing Excel spreadsheets, line by line, with the hard copy data. I also checked for logical consistency by running software programs that highlighted unusual values in each column or any missing attributes.
We excluded higher elevations (>600 m) of the Saddle Mountain slope at the extreme northern edge of the study area and nontarget cover types such as riparian areas along the Columbia River, wetlands, gravel pits, and unvegetated dunes. We also excluded areas within 100 m of a road to avoid potential roadside bias. We limit the data to the 8 native avian species that breed in the study area and are the most abundant shrubsteppe associates recorded. They were abundant enough to provide reasonable statistical power for habitat models. Data were limited to detections within a 100-m radius of the point count center to assure a high detection rate and thus low potential for bias.
Access Constraints Please contact Susan Earnst for access to the data
Use Constraints The point count data should be interpreted as relative abundance data. The observations have not been corrected for detection probabilities. Relative abundance is an appropriate metric for modeling habitat preference, which is the purpose of this data set. Please contact Susan Earnst with questions if the data are to be used for other purposes.
Data Set Progress
Distribution Format: Microsoft Excel File
Email: susan_earnst at usgs.gov
USGS FRESC Snake River Field Station 970 Lusk Street
Province or State: Idaho
Postal Code: 83706
PRBO Conservation Science 3280 Cypress Drive
Province or State: California
Postal Code: 94954
Earnst, S.L. and A.L. Holmes (2012), Bird-habitat relationships in Interior Columbia Basin shrubsteppe, The Condor, 114, 15-29, http://fresc.usgs.gov/products/papers/2456_Earnst.pdf
Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2013-08-28
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-11-18