Intensive management of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) plantations has led to a population increase and breeding range expansion of the endangered Kirtland's Warbler (Dedroica kirtlandii Baird). However, no study has quantified the different bird communities that are associated with Kirtland's Warbler habitat management. We examined bird species conservation scenarios of warbler habitat management by addressing the following: (1) how do bird community structure and conservation scenarios differ among jack pine habitats of three discrete age classes (YOUNG, < 5 years; KW, 5–23 years; and OLD, > 23 years)?; (2) what functional groups (e.g., nest placement groups, foraging groups) of bird species are represented among these three habitat types?; and (3) what are the relationships between bird communities and the composition and structure of these habitat types? Sixty bird species were observed in 37 habitat patches across the three habitat types. Conservation metrics based upon the pooled species lists for each of the habitat types indicated no difference (P > 0.05) among them. Five bird species of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Conservation Priority were found among the habitat types, with all but Kirtland's Warbler most common in the YOUNG habitat. Five indicator species associated with the YOUNG and KW habitat types were observed, while nine species were associated with the OLD habitat. A functional group analysis indicated that stand structure was important for breeding species across habitat types. We believe our results support increased ecologically-based planning and management across jack pine habitats for more than just Kirtland's Warbler.
Endangered Species Act