Date of Award

12-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Advisor

Lanham, Joseph D

Committee Member

Wiggers , Ernie

Committee Member

Yarrow , Greg

Committee Member

Guynn , David

Abstract

Daily point counts were conducted during the summer seasons of 2006, 2007 and 2008 in randomly selected agricultural plots at two field sites in coastal South Carolina to examine habitat use by painted buntings, indigo buntings, blue grosbeaks and brown-headed cowbirds. Plots were selected based on their original condition, such as planted, fallow or old field, in 2006. The two sites, James A. Webb Wildlife Management Area and Nemours Plantation, are areas managed in methods similar to those described in several Conservation Reserve Programs (CRPs), and CP33 - Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds - in particular. I propose the management regimes outlined in CP33, and similarly the practices implemented at both study sites, are too intense to be able to provide the early successional habitat needed by the focal species. Although there was no statistical significance found when correlating focal species occurrence and plot variables, I observed the greater the intensity of management regime, as determined by the frequency of manipulations, the fewer occurrences of the focal species. The study landscapes offer a variety of habitat, but lack adequate three-year old growth in the form of hedgerows and buffers to sustain populations of the focal species.

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