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Title:Proactive management of an endangered species on Army lands: The black-capped vireo on the lands of Fort Hood, Texas
Author(s):Tazik, David John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Osborne, Lewis L.
Department / Program:Urban and Regional Planning
Discipline:Urban and Regional Planning
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Ecology
Biology, Zoology
Urban and Regional Planning
Abstract:Under the Endangered Species Act, federal land managers are obliged to protect threatened and endangered species that occupy lands under their control. In the case of the U.S. Army, this may limit military training and testing activities and other land uses. In order to meet requirements of the Act while minimizing constraints on mission activities, the Army should take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to endangered species management. This approach is exemplified by a study of the Black-capped Vireo on Fort Hood, Texas.
The study was initiated as a basis for developing a responsible, long-term management plan that could accommodate the needs of both the vireo and the Army. Nearly 280 adult vireos were found to occupy colony sites scattered across the installation, and an affinity was observed for certain landscape features. These relationships were used successfully to model potential habitat areas.
Quantification of vireo habitat associations confirmed that the species prefers abundant, low, heterogeneous hardwood cover with foliage to ground level, and a low density and cover of live juniper. Such habitat typically develops within 3 to 5 years after fire in otherwise mature oak-juniper woodland, and remains suitable for 25 or more years. Vireo habitat on the Fort appears to be abundant due to fires resulting from military activities.
The greatest threat to the vireo on Fort Hood is nest parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird. Between 65 and 90% of all nests were parasitized each year resulting in annual production of only 0.29 to 1.80 vireo young/female, substantially less than the estimated 2.67 required to maintain a stable population. Attempts to reduce cowbird numbers had no affect on vireo reproductive success.
Although military activities have had a net positive impact on the vireo, cattle grazing probably has aggravated the cowbird problem. Existing colony sites should be protected from military activity, and consideration should be given to modifying or eliminating cattle grazing on Fort Hood.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Tazik, David John
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9124497
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9124497

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