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We describe a survey design and field protocol for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) search effort that will: (1) allow estimation of occupancy, use, and detection probability for habitats at two spatial scales within the bird?s former range, (2) assess relationships between occupancy, use, and habitat characteristics at those scales, (3) eventually allow the development of a population viability model that depends on patch occupancy instead of difficult-to-measure demographic parameters, and (4) be adaptive, allowing newly collected information to update the above models and search locations. The approach features random selection of patches to be searched from a sampling frame stratified and weighted by patch quality, and requires multiple visits per patch. It is adaptive within a season in that increased search activity is allowed in and around locations of strong visual and/or aural evidence, and adaptive among seasons in that habitat associations allow modification of stratum weights. This statistically rigorous approach is an improvement over simply visiting the ?best? habitat in an ad hoc fashion because we can learn from prior effort and modify the search accordingly. Results from the 2006-07 search season indicate weak relationships between occupancy and habitat (although we suggest modifications of habitat measurement protocols), and a very low detection probability, suggesting more visits per patch are required. Sample size requirements will be discussed.
Additional Publication Details
Design for a region-wide adaptive search for the ivorybilled woodpecker with the objective of estimating occupancy and related parameters