Estimates of population trend for the interior subspecies of band-tailed pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata fasciata) are not available because no standardized survey method exists for monitoring the interior subspecies. We evaluated 2 potential band-tailed pigeon survey methods (auditory and call-broadcast surveys) from 2002 to 2004 in 5 mountain ranges in southern Arizona, USA, and in mixed-conifer forest throughout the state. Both auditory and call-broadcast surveys produced low numbers of cooing pigeons detected per survey route (x?? ??? 0.67) and had relatively high temporal variance in average number of cooing pigeons detected during replicate surveys (CV ??? 161%). However, compared to auditory surveys, use of call-broadcast increased 1) the percentage of replicate surveys on which ???1 cooing pigeon was detected by an average of 16%, and 2) the number of cooing pigeons detected per survey route by an average of 29%, with this difference being greatest during the first 45 minutes of the morning survey period. Moreover, probability of detecting a cooing pigeon was 27% greater during call-broadcast (0.80) versus auditory (0.63) surveys. We found that cooing pigeons were most common in mixed-conifer forest in southern Arizona and density of male pigeons in mixed-conifer forest throughout the state averaged 0.004 (SE = 0.001) pigeons/ha. Our results are the first to show that call-broadcast increases the probability of detecting band-tailed pigeons (or any species of Columbidae) during surveys. Call-broadcast surveys may provide a useful method for monitoring populations of the interior subspecies of band-tailed pigeon in areas where other survey methods are inappropriate.
Additional publication details
Probability of detecting band-tailed pigeons during call-broadcast versus auditory surveys