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Habitat Suitability of the Yellow Rail in South-Central Manitoba: An analysis at multiple spatial scales Kristen A. Martin 1, Dr. Nicola Koper 1, Dr. Micheline.

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Presentation on theme: "Habitat Suitability of the Yellow Rail in South-Central Manitoba: An analysis at multiple spatial scales Kristen A. Martin 1, Dr. Nicola Koper 1, Dr. Micheline."— Presentation transcript:

1 Habitat Suitability of the Yellow Rail in South-Central Manitoba: An analysis at multiple spatial scales Kristen A. Martin 1, Dr. Nicola Koper 1, Dr. Micheline Manseau 1,2, Ron Bazin 3 1.Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba 2.Parks Canada 3.Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment Canada)

2 Yellow Rail Habitat  Typically associated with fine-stemmed vegetation, shallow water, senescent vegetation cover

3 Yellow Rail Habitat  What are the habitat requirements at larger spatial scales? For example: -wetland size? -composition or configuration of surrounding landscape?

4 Research Objectives 1) To evaluate the influence of variables from multiple spatial scales on habitat suitability for yellow rails:  Landscape  Patch (wetland)  Plot (survey point) Phil Thorpe, USFWS

5  26 documented sites (excluding Hudson Bay)  Many areas have not been surveyed  Uncertainty about distribution, abundance, & population trends Yellow Rails in Manitoba Map from mgmt plant Map adapted from COSEWIC 2009, in Environment Canada Management Plan for the Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. iii + 23 pp.

6 Research Objectives 2) To investigate the distribution of yellow rails in south-central Manitoba

7 Study Area  Non-random wetland selection  80 study wetlands: 44 in 2010, 36 in 2011  167 survey points Surveyed in 2011 Surveyed in 2010 Basemap layer from ESRI (2010)

8 Methods – Yellow Rail Surveys  Two night surveys at each survey point: 23 May to 5 July  Call-broadcast: 5 min passive listening, 3 min call-broadcast, 2 min passive listening

9 Methods – Habitat Data  3-km radius buffer around study wetland to create each landscape  FRAGSTATS to calculate: - Habitat Amount - Habitat Composition - Habitat Fragmentation - Habitat Configuration

10 Methods – Habitat Data  Vegetation Transects – 50 m long or until reached open water  Patch Scale: 3 random transects per wetland; wetland size  Plot Scale: 1 transect at each survey point Photo by D. Furutani

11 Methods – Data Analysis  Generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) used to evaluate the effects of habitat variables on yellow rail presence  Analysis of each spatial scale conducted separately – included year*variable interactions where necessary  Best fitting model selected using Akaike’s Information Criterion corrected for small sample sizes (AIC c )

12 Results – Yellow Rail Detections Year # YERA Detected Round 1 # YERA Detected Round  Yellow rails detected at: - 47% of survey points - 44% of wetlands Yellow rails detected Yellow rails not detected

13 Results – Landscape Scale Model Parameters Parameter Estimates (Lower 95% CI, Upper 95% CI) p- valueAIC c ΔAIC c AIC c Weight Habitat Composition Habitat richness (-1.007, 0.014) Year ( , 0.022)0.053 Habitat richness*year0.646 (0.084, 1.207)0.027 Habitat Amount %Marsh/fen0.093 (0.007, 0.179) Year2.327 (0.433, 4.222)0.019 % Marsh /fen*year (-0.196, 0.006)0.070 Habitat Fragmentation Mean marsh shape2.601 (-0.478, 5.679) Null Intercept (-0.620, 0.295)

14 Results – Landscape Scale YearModel Parameter Parameter Estimate (Lower 95% CI, Upper 95% CI)p-value 2010 Habitat Composition Habitat Richness0.149 (-0.092, 0.391)0.213 Habitat Amount % Marsh/fen (-0.057, 0.053) Habitat Composition Habitat Richness (-1.029, 0.036)0.067 Habitat Amount % Marsh/fen0.093 (0.003, 0.183)0.043 Weak, positive relationship between yellow rail presence and the proportion of marsh/fen habitat in the landscape in 2011

15 Results – Patch Scale Model & Parameters Parameter Estimate (Lower 95% CI, Upper 95% CI)p-valueAIC c ΔAIC c AIC c Weight Global Wetland area0.003 (-0.001, 0.007) Water depth (-0.181, 0.009)0.082 % Cyperaceae0.039 (-0.020, 0.097)0.201 % Poaceae (-0.092, 0.066)0.752 % Rush0.149 (0.019, 0.279)0.028 Year (-2.930, 1.136)0.049 % Cattail (-0.929, 0.062)0.091 % Cattail*Year0.506 (-0.012, 1.024)0.060 % Shrub (-0.725, 0.102)0.144 % Shrub*Year0.675 (0.014, 1.335)0.049 Wetland Area (3.668E-05, 0.006) Null Intercept (-0.652, 0.240)

16 Results – Patch Scale YearModel Parameter Parameter Estimate (Lower 95% CI, Upper 95% CI)p-value 2010 Shrubs % Shrubs0.423 (-0.190, 1.030) Shrubs % Shrubs (-0.726, 0.350)0.487 Weak, positive relationship between yellow rail presence and the proportion of rushes at the patch scale in both years

17 Results – Plot Scale Model & Parameters Parameter Estimates (Lower 95% CI, Upper 95% CI)p-valueAIC c ΔAIC c AIC c Weight Water Depth Water depth (-0.154, 0.010) Vegetation Composition & Water Depth % Cattail (-0.250, 0.036) % Shrub (-0.259, 0.051)0.195 Water depth (-0.174, 0.010)0.088 Null Intercept (-3.183, 0.597) Vegetation Composition % Cattail (-0.272, 0.030) % Shrub (-0.258, 0.074)0.280 No significant relationships between yellow rail presence and any of the plot scale variables

18 Discussion  Yellow rail presence was widespread throughout study area: 25 new sites identified  BUT & 2011 were wet years – unsure if these locations suitable in drier years

19 Discussion  Importance of wetlands in landscape : - important below certain threshold? 2010: landscapes had mean of 17% marsh/fen habitat 2011: landscapes had mean of 12% marsh/fen habitat - initial habitat selection cue? - use of multiple wetlands?

20 Discussion  Proportion of rushes at patch scale  No effect of wetland size ( 1800 ha)  Lack of significant associations at plot scale - could be related to non-random wetland selection - different in drier years?

21 Recommendations  Amount of marsh/fen habitat in landscape may be important for identifying suitable yellow rail habitat  Conduct multiple spatial scale study in drier years to see if trends are consistent  “Lots” of yellow rail habitat in south- central Manitoba in wet years....

22 Thank You!  Dr. Nicola Koper, Dr. Micheline Manseau, Ron Bazin  Manitoba Conservation SDIF Grant  Manitoba Graduate Fellowship  NSERC  Derek Furutani  Manitoba landowners


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