Area Sensitivity of Grassland Sparrows Overwintering in a South Carolina Forested Landscape

Paul J. Champlin, John C. Kilgo, J. Drew Lanham, Frank J. Spilker
2015 Southeastern naturalist (Steuben, Me.)  
We assessed area sensitivity of overwintering Peucaea aestivalis (Bachman's Sparrow), Ammodramus savannarum (Grasshopper Sparrow), and A. henslowii (Henslow's Sparrow) within utility rights-of-way (ROWs) at the US Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. We compared sparrow abundance among 4 ROW-width classes (25-44.9 m, 45-64.9 m, 65-84.9 m, and ≥85 m) and used landform index (LFI; a measure of topography and environmental exposure) as a covariate in our analyses to
more » ... ssess potential effects of abiotic characteristics. Total number of sparrows flushed/ha, Grasshopper Sparrows flushed/ha, and Henslow's Sparrows flushed/ha were positively related to ROW-width class. Total number of sparrows flushed/ha and Bachman's Sparrows flushed/ha were negatively related to LFI, indicating a positive relationship with site exposure. Utility ROWs in the Southeast provide wintering habitat for grassland sparrows, especially on exposed elevated plateaus within wide ROWs.
doi:10.1656/058.014.0305 fatcat:2rygnmge5zdmjdtohefaqqp66e