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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Monday, November 2 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Advancing Species Distribution Models to Identify Optimal Restoration Sites for Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis)

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Bradley A. Pickens, North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, North Carolina State University; Paul Taillie, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; Scott Anderson, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; John P. Carpenter, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; Jeffrey F. Marcus, The Nature Conservancy; Jaime A. Collazo, U.S. Geological Survey, North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, North Carolina State University

The longleaf pine ecosystem occupies only 3-5% of its historic range, and recently, a great emphasis has been placed on restoration of longleaf pine savanna. One of the most recognized indicators of regularly burned pine savanna is the Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis). The species' need for herbaceous groundcover, and its sensitivity to fragmentation, makes the species a multiscale indicator of ecological condition. The Bachman's Sparrow is an indicator species for the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative and is a priority species in North Carolina as well as most states within its range. In this study, our objectives were to use spatial data to quantify species–habitat relationships, develop a species distribution model for North Carolina, and use a fire scenario to identify areas that could be readily converted to Bachman's Sparrow habitat. We used a resource selection function to compare habitat of presence locations with pseudo-absence locations. Presence data were obtained from three distinct studies. Spatial data were obtained from the LANDFIRE program, National Landcover Database, and The Nature Conservancy's Terrestrial Resilience project for the southeast. Our results showed Bachman's Sparrow relationships with evergreen land cover, mean canopy cover, heterogeneity in canopy cover, connectedness, and proportion of habitat within 3 km. Several interactions also existed. According to validation data, the model was 87% accurate in North Carolina. The fire scenario demonstrated that many areas near existing habitat could benefit Bachman's Sparrow with the reintroduction of fire. Additionally, the spatial patterns are beneficial for understanding relationships with current and projected urbanization.

Monday November 2, 2015 4:00pm - 4:20pm EST
Ballroom Salon B

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