Effects of forest composition on Northern Goshawk nest occurrence and productivity
The Northern Goshawk is a forest raptor found at low densities throughout northern hardwood forests of the Great Lakes region, and is a species of management concern for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF), Wisconsin. The species has a circumboreal distribution and appears to be quite flexible in its nesting requirements and prey base, which limits the applicability of literature on nesting and foraging requirements from outside of the Great Lakes region. Therefore, there is a need for local information on these aspects of Northern Goshawk biology to inform land managers of the most effective means to conserve the species. In addition, it remains unclear what effect timber harvesting, which influences forest composition, has on goshawks within the CNNF.
The CNNF applies a 30 acre no-cut buffer surrounding nests and a second buffer extending another 330 ft in which only uneven-aged timber management is permitted. Using 10 years of goshawk monitoring data, we are evaluating how forest type composition as a result of management practices within 3 zones of influence (e.g., 200, 500, and 1000 m) may help explain the presence of goshawk nests and nest productivity.
Preliminary results suggest that a combination of hardwoods and conifers is important to goshawk nest locations at all three landscape scales. Regenerating aspen and shrubs, which are used by their prey, appear important at the larger scale suggesting these areas may provide important foraging areas around the nest. Goshawk nest locations had a higher density of secondary roads within the 200 m buffer suggesting that these roads and/or trails may be providing flyways or access to nests.
Donner, D.M., D. Anderson, M. StPierre, D. Eklund, and B. Frater. In prep. Effects of forest composition on northern Goshawk nest occurrence and productivity.
- Deahn M. Donner, US Forest Service Northern Research Station - Wildlife Biologist
- Anderson, Dean, Wildlife Ecology and Epidemiology, Landcare Research, New Zealand
- St. Pierre, Matthew, USDA-Forest Service – Wildlife Biologist, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Rhinelander, WI
- Eklund, Daniel, USDA-Forest Service – Forest Biologist, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Park Falls, WI
- Frater, Ben, USDA-Forest Service – Forest Monitoring Coordinator, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Rhinelander, WI
Last Modified: 09/17/2008