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Bird survey data from Prince George's County, Maryland, were used to evaluate the effects of urbanization on the distribution of forest bird species that are area sensitive. We developed models that predict the probability of occurrence for species during the nesting season as a function of forest area and degree of urbanization. All of the 21 bird species considered occurred in a higher proportion of forests in portions of the county with low or moderate urbanization than in forests in highly urbanized areas, but species differed in their response to urbanization. We calculated the predicted probability of occurrence for each species in each forest in Prince George's County, summed the probabilities to obtain an estimate of the expected number of area-sensitive species, and integrated the expected numbers with a geographic information system coverage of Prince George's County forests to map patterns of species richness countywide. This information can be used to focus efforts to conserve habitat for area-sensitive forest birds, both in Prince George's County and throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
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Effects of urbanization on the distribution of area-sensitive forest birds in Prince George's County, Maryland