Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Elizabeth A. Matseur; Thomas W. Bonnot; Frank R. Thompson
    Date: 2020
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-195. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 169 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (24.0 MB)


    The USDA Forest Service has a legislative mandate to maintain species and community diversity on National Forest System lands and uses monitoring to determine whether national forests are meeting this goal. The Southern Region of the Forest Service adopted the Southern National Forest’s Migrant and Resident Landbird Conservation Strategy in 1996 to address conservation concerns arising from long-term population declines in many birds. The strategy implemented a regionwide program to improve monitoring, research, and management of avian populations and their habitats. Monitoring is conducted by 10-minute point counts from early April to late June across 15 national forest units. Our objective was to analyze 26 years of monitoring data collected by this program from 1992 through 2017 to assess population trends and habitat associations of birds. We used time-removal models within a hierarchical Bayesian model framework to estimate species abundance by year, population trends, and abundance related to forest type and successional class. There were 82,367 point counts completed and 1,104,423 birds detected. We determined population trends for a total of 152 species and between 58 and 117 species per national forest. Seventy-five species had a majority of positive annual trends and 68 species had a majority of negative annual trends across all national forests. We estimated abundance in relation to forest type and successional class for 101 individual bird species. Thirteen species generally had greater abundances in late-successional classes and 29 species in early-successional classes. Twenty-one species were generally more abundant in specific forest types, and abundances of 38 species were more mixed or variable among forest types. This represents the first comprehensive effort to analyze this 26-year dataset, and these results can help inform management and conservation of migrant and resident birds in the Southern Region. We suggest that additional analyses are possible to investigate causal factors for the patterns reported here and further inform management efforts.

    Publication Notes

    • 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, 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.


    Matseur, Elizabeth A.; Bonnot, Thomas W.; Thompson, Frank R., III. 2020. Trends in abundance and habitat associations of forest birds on southern national forests, 1992–2017. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-195. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 169 p.


    Google Scholar


    Bayesian model, monitoring, point counts, Southeastern United States, long term, resident, migrant

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page