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22 March 2022 Ecological correlates to habitat use in the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)
Clark S. Winchell, Kathryn P. Huyvaert, Paul F. Doherty Jr, John M. Taylor, Tyler J. Grant
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Abstract

Conversion of natural habitats to urban landscapes is happening at a rapid pace around the globe. Establishing a preserve system and restoring lands within these preserves is one way to offset the loss of natural habitats. However, often when preserves are being developed little data exists outlining the distribution of species and the habitat parameters on which they depend. We used populations of the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus sandiegensis) inhabiting the coastal slope of California to demonstrate how to refine the general gestalt of habitat conditions for the wren into defined parameters that can be used to develop strategic restoration plans. We found that wren habitat use declined to nearly 0% when cactus patches were spaced farther than 800 m apart, regardless of size. The probability of occupancy, or habitat use, rose above 60% when cactus patches were 0.15 ha in size or greater. Elderberry is an important factor in areas with little topographic relief, as it provides perching sites. Buckwheat may not be important to the wren but could be used to select sites that have drier conditions conducive to cacti. Planting cactus to restore ruderal sites properly selected for xeric conditions, and within relatively close proximity to each other, could help meet conservation goals of connecting and increasing wren populations by establishing ecological functions at a landscape level.

Clark S. Winchell, Kathryn P. Huyvaert, Paul F. Doherty Jr, John M. Taylor, and Tyler J. Grant "Ecological correlates to habitat use in the Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 133(3), 408-416, (22 March 2022). https://doi.org/10.1676/19-00145
Received: 2 December 2019; Accepted: 1 October 2021; Published: 22 March 2022
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KEYWORDS
cholla
habitat restoration
occupancy
prickly pear cactus
Sage scrub
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