A Study of Habitat Variables Associated with Northern Goshawk Nest Site Activity on the Three National Forests in Southern Utah
The Northern Goshawk has been a species of concern since its decline in the early 1990s, which has been attributed in part to loss of critical breeding and wintering habitat. Nest site selection of goshawks has been correlated with certain specific site characteristics including, but not limited to, forest species composition, forest stand size, diameter of nest tree, percent cover, tree height, site slope, and aspect. The goshawk holds the status of a Management Indicator Species (MIS) on all of the six national forests in Utah. This status requires annual monitoring to track goshawk numbers and to address any activities on the forests that may affect nest site activity. Findings from the annual nesting data showed that some territories have been more active than others. We summarized the data from the three national forests in southern Utah in order to understand differences in nesting habitat among the forests. We also analyzed the nesting habitat variables slope, elevation, and nest tree species statistically to determine if they could be used as predictors of nest activity. We found that slope and elevation were not good predictors while nest tree species was significant in its ability to predict nest activity. We concluded the nesting habitat variables we selected were insufficient in their ability to predict nest activity and other variables such as prey species availability, weather conditions in the spring, and forest cover type might be needed to create a model that more accurately predicts nest activity.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Marvel, Keeli Shea, "A Study of Habitat Variables Associated with Northern Goshawk Nest Site Activity on the Three National Forests in Southern Utah" (2007). Theses and Dissertations. 1257.
Northern Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis, nest site, habitat, activity