We investigated survival for male, female, and first-year Cape Sable seaside sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis, hereafter sparrows), a federally endangered bird restricted to the Florida Everglades, USA. Accurate estimates of survival are critical to improve management decisions and population estimates for this and other threatened species. We used Program MARK to evaluate effects of age, sex, population membership, temporal variation, and ground-water levels on annual survival from mark–recapture data collected across 3 sparrow populations from 1997 to 2007. We found little evidence that annual survival rates differed between the populations or across ground-water levels, but we found high variability between years for both adult and juvenile survival. Our results revealed female sparrows experienced 14–19% lower survival than males. Sparrows experienced much lower survival during their first year of life and were short-lived (2–3 yr). Our results highlight sparrows' susceptibility to population declines and suggest that management actions aimed at increasing survival may be effective for this species' management.
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Vol. 73 • No. 4