I have a background in population ecology, developed during my M.S. degree in raptor ecology at Boise State University
. Both my M.S. research and a subsequent project in the Taita Hills, Kenya, involved understanding the factors that influence raptor populations, particularly Accipter
Reproductive ecology of northern goshawks
The northern goshawk (Accipter gentilis
) is typically associated with conifer forests, but in the Independence Mountains of northern Nevada goshawks breed in high-elevation aspen habitat. My M.S. research was part of a long-term goshawk monitoring project coordinated by my supervisor at Boise State University
, Marc J. Bechard
Using trapping, banding, and re-sighting techniques, we found that over the 11 years the population had been monitored goshawk occupancy declined significantly. This was most likely mediated by colder temperatures during February and March affecting goshawk food supply and hunting behavior. Additionally, my work contributed to our understanding of goshawk population dynamics in the larger northeastern Great Basin. Results suggest that a large-scale factor, such as spring climate, is responsible for changes in goshawk reproduction seen throughout the region.
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