Using radio-telemetry of fledgling Golden-winged Warblers (<italic>Vermivora chrysoptera</italic>) in the western Great Lakes region from 2010-2012, I investigated the poorly understood behavior of brood division. Brood division occured when both males and females care for a brood after fledging. I observed female-reared subbroods traveling over twice as far from the natal patch and nest sites as male-reared subbroods. The difference in space use we observed was correlated with female-reared subbroods preferentially moving in similar directions for a three-day period in which male-reared subbroods maintained an area of use. Because parental strategies differ between sexes with regard to movement patterns, I suggest incorporating the differences in space use between sexes in future management plans for Golden-winged Warblers and other species that employ brood division. Specifically, management actions might be most effective when they are applied at spatial scales large enough to incorporate the habitat requirements of both sexes throughout the entire reproductive season. Additionally, I developed a method for estimating productivity of a breeding season based on landscape around any given point. I used logistic exposure models to identify the influence of landscape structure and composition on nest productivity and fledgling survival. I used those models to predict spatially-explicit, full-season productivity across my study sites to identify areas of low relative productivity that could be targeted for management. I then used my models of spatially-explicit, full-season productivity to simulate the impact of potential management actions on my study sites with the goal of increasing total population productivity. I concluded that spatially-explicit, full-season productivity models that incorporate data from both the nesting and post-fledging periods are useful for informing breeding habitat management plans for Golden-Winged Warblers and that similar models can benefit management planning for many other species of conservation concern.
University of Minnesota Master of Science thesis. August 2014. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisor: David E. Andersen. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 174 pages, appendices A-C.
Peterson, Sean Michael.
Landscape productivity and the ecology of brood division in Golden-winged Warblers in the Western Great Lakes Region.
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