Abstract Title

Osprey Habitat Suitability in West-Central Idaho: Impacts of Prey Availability on the Breeding Success of a Sentinel Species

Disciplines

Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy

Abstract

Ospreys (Pandion hailaetus) are fish-eating, top apex predators of aquatic ecosystems that are adapted to human landscapes and are thus a useful sentinel species for monitoring environmental contaminants and ecosystem health. Ospreys have been a focal point of conservation and study since their extensive decline from 1950-1970. While the majority of populations in the United States have recovered, breeding densities in many areas are variable; with many areas unoccupied despite the apparent existence of quality habitat. Environmental, water and habitat characteristics, as well as prey availability, human disturbance and contaminants are known to affect osprey nesting success. In light of increasing human population and development near osprey breeding habitats in Long Valley Idaho, we designed a research study in order to evaluate relationships among prey availability and osprey nesting success. We used a multivariate generalized linear model with model selection procedures to evaluate the relative importance of prey abundance on osprey nesting success. Here, we present the results of our model and discuss their applications for conservation efforts and osprey management guidelines.

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Osprey Habitat Suitability in West-Central Idaho: Impacts of Prey Availability on the Breeding Success of a Sentinel Species

Ospreys (Pandion hailaetus) are fish-eating, top apex predators of aquatic ecosystems that are adapted to human landscapes and are thus a useful sentinel species for monitoring environmental contaminants and ecosystem health. Ospreys have been a focal point of conservation and study since their extensive decline from 1950-1970. While the majority of populations in the United States have recovered, breeding densities in many areas are variable; with many areas unoccupied despite the apparent existence of quality habitat. Environmental, water and habitat characteristics, as well as prey availability, human disturbance and contaminants are known to affect osprey nesting success. In light of increasing human population and development near osprey breeding habitats in Long Valley Idaho, we designed a research study in order to evaluate relationships among prey availability and osprey nesting success. We used a multivariate generalized linear model with model selection procedures to evaluate the relative importance of prey abundance on osprey nesting success. Here, we present the results of our model and discuss their applications for conservation efforts and osprey management guidelines.