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1 April 2008 A Multiscale Analysis of Nest Predation on Least Bell's Vireos (Vireo Bellii Pusillus)
Barbara E. Kus, Bonnie L. Peterson, Douglas H. Deutschman
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We examined variables influencing nest predation on the endangered Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) at three spatial scales to determine what nest-site, habitat, or landscape characteristics affect the likelihood of nest predation and to determine the spatial distribution of predation risk and the variables influencing it. We used MARK to calculate daily survival rates of Least Bell's Vireo nests and applied an information-theoretic approach to evaluate support for logistic regression models of the effect of habitat variables on predation risk. Analysis of data for 195 nests collected during 1999 and 2000 at the San Luis Rey River and Pilgrim Creek in southern California revealed no effect of fine-scale factors, including nest height, supporting plant species, and three measures of nest concealment, on the likelihood of predation. At the intermediate scale, distances to the riparian-habitat edge and to internal gaps in the canopy were unrelated to nest survival. Surrounding land-use type was a poor predictor of predation risk, with the exception of proximity to golf course–park habitat and wetland. Nests within 400 m of golf course–park were only 20% as likely to avoid predation as nests >400 m from this habitat, and nests near wetland were more than twice as likely to survive as nests distant from wetland. Spatially, predation appeared to be random throughout the site, with localized clustering evident in the vicinity of golf course–park and wetland. Our results suggest that the landscape may be the most appropriate scale at which to manage nest predation in this system.

Barbara E. Kus, Bonnie L. Peterson, and Douglas H. Deutschman "A Multiscale Analysis of Nest Predation on Least Bell's Vireos (Vireo Bellii Pusillus)," The Auk 125(2), 277-284, (1 April 2008).
Received: 26 February 2006; Accepted: 1 May 2007; Published: 1 April 2008
golf courses
landscape characteristics
Least Bell's Vireo
nest concealment
nest predation
Vireo bellii pusillus
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