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:
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)
Yellow Rail Habitat Typically associated with fine-stemmed vegetation, shallow water, senescent vegetation cover
Yellow Rail Habitat What are the habitat requirements at larger spatial scales? For example: -wetland size? -composition or configuration of surrounding landscape?
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
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. 2012. Management Plan for the Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Environment Canada, Ottawa. iii + 23 pp.
Research Objectives 2) To investigate the distribution of yellow rails in south-central Manitoba
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)
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
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
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
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 )
Results – Yellow Rail Detections Year # YERA Detected Round 1 # YERA Detected Round 2 20108869 20113116 Yellow rails detected at: - 47% of survey points - 44% of wetlands Yellow rails detected Yellow rails not detected
Results – Patch Scale YearModel Parameter Parameter Estimate (Lower 95% CI, Upper 95% CI)p-value 2010 Shrubs % Shrubs0.423 (-0.190, 1.030)0.17 2011 Shrubs % Shrubs-0.185 (-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
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-0.072 (-0.154, 0.010)0.087185.7100.272 Vegetation Composition & Water Depth % Cattail-0.107 (-0.250, 0.036)0.147 185.780.070.263 % Shrub-0.104 (-0.259, 0.051)0.195 Water depth-0.082 (-0.174, 0.010)0.088 Null Intercept-1.293 (-3.183, 0.597)0.184186.610.90.174 Vegetation Composition % Cattail-0.121 (-0.272, 0.030)0.120 186.690.980.167 % Shrub-0.092 (-0.258, 0.074)0.280 No significant relationships between yellow rail presence and any of the plot scale variables
Discussion Yellow rail presence was widespread throughout study area: 25 new sites identified BUT...2010 & 2011 were wet years – unsure if these locations suitable in drier years
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?
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?
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....
Thank You! Dr. Nicola Koper, Dr. Micheline Manseau, Ron Bazin Manitoba Conservation SDIF Grant Manitoba Graduate Fellowship NSERC Derek Furutani Manitoba landowners