Cooperative Research Units
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Comparison of three approaches for spatially modeling avian-habitat relationships in the central hardwoods bird conservation region


September 2007 - December 2009


The objective of the study is to compare habitat suitability estimates from HSI models, CART models, and hierarchical Bayesian models for priority species in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region to determine the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches. Researchers will focus on three species of interest to Region 3 of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service: Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea), Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor), and Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus). These models are currently being developed by the cooperators and are scheduled to be completed in early-mid 2007. All models will be applied across the entire Central Hardwoods. Model outputs from both approaches will be summarized by ecological subsection, and they will compare subsection rankings of abundance for each species to assess their concordance. Additionally, researchers will identify, gather and analyze existing avian population data from within the Central Hardwoods for comparison to model outputs. These independent sources of data will serve to assess the relative ability of the models to accurately predict relative avian abundance and density in the field and direct conservation efforts and dollars among states and regions.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • David GalatPrincipal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • USFWS Region 4

Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey