Breeding bird surveys were conducted on 7 properties belonging to 2 ranches in South Texas. Using these data I calculated temporal trends, and tested the effects of total May – April precipitation and cattle stocking rate on avian abundance. Trends were calculated for each ranch, the East Foundation and King Ranch, individually due to different range and wildlife management practices. Total avian abundance increased significantly on the 3 East Foundation properties between 2008 and 2015. During 39 breeding bird surveys, 16,441 individual birds of 88 species were recorded. Non-breeding bird surveys were also conducted on East Foundation properties, an increasing trend in total avian abundance was also calculated from these data. Total breeding bird abundance was stable on the 4 King Ranch properties between 2005 and 2013. A total of 19,162 individual birds of 87 species were recorded during 40 breeding bird surveys. The combined effect of livestock use and precipitation had a significant effect on total avian abundance on all King Ranch properties, and on the abundance of some individual species and groups.
July 27th, 2016
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