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    Description

    This assessment describes northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) habitat in the State of Utah. Because of fire exclusion, insect and disease epidemics, timber harvest, livestock grazing, or a combination of these factors the forests and woodlands of Utah have changed drastically since the early 1900's. Forests are now dominated by mid- and late successional species (Douglas-fir, white fir, and subalpine fir) rather than the early successional species (lodgepole and ponderosa pine). Along with these changes came suspected declines in goshawk populations. Goshawk habitat in Utah was assessed using potential vegetation types, current vegetation types, and expert knowledge. Subalpine fir (17 percent) and quaking aspen (10 percent) potential vegetation types were the most common forest types in the State. Nearly 95 percent of the subalpine fir potential vegetation type was rated as high or medium for nesting habitat, while nearly 90 percent of the quaking aspen potential vegetation type was rated as high or medium for nesting. Similarly, combining nesting and foraging preferences 70 percent of the subalpine fir potential vegetation type is rated as either high value or optimum habitat. In addition, throughout Utah all of the high value habitats are well connected. The present conditions of the forests and woodlands of Utah are prone to insect and disease epidemics in addition to the risk of stand replacing fires. To ensure the goshawk's continued existence in Utah will require the restoration of these degraded habitats and the protection of native processes.

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    Citation

    Graham, Russell T.; Rodriguez, Ronald L.; Paulin, Kathleen M.; Player, Rodney L.; Heap, Arlene P.; Williams, Richard. 1999. The northern goshawk in Utah: Habitat assessment and management recommendations. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-22. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 48 p.

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    Keywords

    northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis

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