Northern Goshawk, bird, sensitive species, conservation


The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) has been a species of concern in the western United States since it was thought to be in decline in the 1970s. Loss of critical breeding and wintering habitat has contributed, in part, to this decline. In the U.S., the goshawk was listed in 1991 as a sensitive species for the Intermountain Region of the Forest Service. This region includes all National Forests in Utah. The goshawk also holds the status of a Management Indicator Species (MIS) on all six National Forests in Utah (USDA Forest Service 1999). The aim of the Forest Service was to use goshawk conservation to provide special management practices for mature or old-growth forests with an emphasis on maintaining their prey populations (Kenward 2006). Goshawks prey on small- to medium-sized mammals and birds (Reynolds et aI. 1992) and are top predators in their food chain. Their presence in forest habitat is indicative of a sufficient prey base of frugivorous, insectivorous, and granivorous birds and mammals. These prey items indicate in tum, that the ecosystem is healthy at the most basic habitat level, supporting the secondary consumers that form the goshawk prey base.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Life Sciences


Plant and Wildlife Sciences

University Standing at Time of Publication

Graduate Student