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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, mutual research interests between land managers at the Savannah River Site and biologists at the University of Georgia resulted in a landscape-ecology study of the Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis). This species had been declining throughout its range for several decades and was considered a species of management concern by the U.S. Forest Service. The reasons for its decline were obscure, but the distribution of suitable habitat across complex landscapes was a possible factor. Thus the species seemed well suited for a pioneer study on landscape influences on avian population dynamics. A cooperative research program developed from these mutual interests, including quantifying the landscape and local habitat patterns shown by the sparrow, spatially explicit modeling of population response to landscape change, and demographic field studies of reproductive success, survivorship and dispersal. These studies are summarized, and the value of the research to both management and research interests is discussed.
Additional Publication Details
Studying wildlife at local and landscape scales: Bachman's Sparrows at the Savannah River Site