Skip to Main Content
Influence of hiking trails on montane birdsAuthor(s): William V. Deluca; David I. King
Source: The Journal of Wildlife Management. 78(3): 494-502.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (577.54 KB)
DescriptionMontane forests contribute significantly to regional biodiversity. Long-term monitoring data, often located along hiking trails, suggests that several indicator species of this ecosystem have declined in recent decades. Declining montane bird populations have been attributed to anthropogenic stressors such as climate change and atmospheric deposition. Several studies from montane systems have also documented decreased estimates of abundance and reproductive success as well as altered singing rates near hiking trails. Therefore, recreational hiking may be contributing to montane bird population declines and potentially biased population estimates because of trail avoidance or altered detection probabilities near trails. We studied the effect of hiking trails on the abundance, seasonal movements, and detection probabilities of montane birds in the White Mountains, New Hampshire in 2006 and 2007. We used hierarchical, generalized N-mixture models that account for imperfect detection probabilities to examine the effects of recreational hiking on bird communities. We also examined the potential effects of hiking on the reproductive success of a boreal forest songbird, blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata). We found little evidence to suggest hiking trails influence abundance, detection probabilities, or within and among seasonal movements of montane forest birds. We also found no evidence to suggest daily nest survival of blackpoll warbler nests vary with distance from trail. Our study suggests that recent increases in hiking traffic are unlikely to have caused declines in montane birds in this region. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that trail-based monitoring programs can provide accurate and efficient estimates of abundance for some montane forest bird species in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationDeluca, William V.; King, David I. 2014. Influence of hiking trails on montane birds. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 78(3): 494-502.
Keywordsabundance, blackpoll warbler, Dail-Madsen model, detection probability, montane forests, recruitment, White Mountains
- Analysis of combined data sets yields trend estimates for vulnerable spruce-fir birds in northern United States
- Prolonged stopover and consequences of migratory strategy on local-scale movements within a regional songbird staging area
- Pennsylvania boreal conifer forests and their bird communities: past, present, and potential
XML: View XML