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«Cascade Sierra Medicine Lake West Coast Intermountain Mt. Shasta Great Basin Colorado Plateau and SW Mtns Northern Goshawk United States Department ...»

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Northern Goshawk

United States


Inventory and Monitoring

of Agriculture

Forest Service

Technical Guide

Gen. Tech.

Report WO-71

July 2006

Cascade Sierra

Medicine Lake

West Coast


Mt. Shasta

Great Basin

Colorado Plateau

and SW Mtns

Northern Goshawk

United States


of Agriculture

Inventory and Monitoring

Forest Service

Technical Guide

Gen. Tech.

Report WO-71

July 2006

Brian Woodbridge and Christina D. Hargis

Northern Goshawk Inventory and Monitoring Design Team Brian Woodbridge Christina D. Hargis Richard T. Reynolds James A. Baldwin Gregory D. Hayward Kimberly Titus Alan Franklin Sarah R. Dewey Christopher W. Schultz Alan L. Williamson Douglas A. Boyce, Jr. John J. Keane U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants Staff

Proper citation for this document is as follows:

Woodbridge, B.; Hargis, C.D. 2006. Northern goshawk inventory and monitoring technical guide. Gen.

Tech. Rep. WO-71. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 80 p.

Cover Photo: The concept of bioregional monitoring is conveyed through three photos superimposed on a digital elevation model of the Western United States, including portions of the Pacific Coast and Intermountain Great Basin bioregions. The overlaid images depict three levels of the bioregional monitoring design: a sample of contiguous PSUs in northern California (top), a PSU with call point transect lines (middle), and a northern goshawk nest (bottom). Photo credit: Brian Woodbridge. Composite image designed by Dave LaPlante.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Acknowledgments We gratefully acknowledge the previous work of several individuals in the realm of goshawk monitoring; their ideas, field work, and publications are the basis of this technical guide. In particular, we acknowledge the contributions made by S.R. Dewey, S.M. Joy, J.J. Keane, P.L. Kennedy, V. Penteriani, R.T. Reynolds, and D.W. Stahlecker.

The bioregional monitoring design presented in chapter 2 was created by the Northern Goshawk Inventory and Monitoring Design Team, whose members are listed on the title page of this technical guide. We give special recognition to J.A. Baldwin for contributing substantial time toward developing the bioregional design and preparing all the statistical text in chapter 2. We are grateful to D. LaPlante and B. Allison for spatial analyses of primary sampling unit (PSU) size and for preparing figures and to J. Wilson and H. Wang for preparing the figure in Appendix C. We thank the following individuals who substantially improved the quality of this technical guide through their review of earlier versions: D.E. Andersen, P.H. Geissler, T.A. Max, A.R. Olson, M.G. Raphael, L.F. Ruggiero, H.T. Schreuder, and J.R. Squires.

Authors Brian Woodbridge is supervisor of the Forest Resources Branch, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Yreka, CA.

Christina D. Hargis (name changed to Christina D. Vojta) is a wildlife ecologist, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants Staff, USDA Forest Service, Washington Office, Washington, DC.

–  –  –



Chapter 1. Overview

1.1 Overview

1.2 Background and Business Needs

1.3 Key Concepts

1.4 Roles and Responsibilities

1.4.1 National Responsibilities

1.4.2 Regional Responsibilities

1.4.3 Forest Responsibilities

1.5 Relationships to Other Federal Inventory and Monitoring Programs......... 1-6 1.5.1 Forest Service Programs

1.5.2 Programs in Other Federal Agencies

1.6 Quality Control and Assurance

1.7 Change Management

Chapter 2. Bioregional Monitoring Design

2.1 Objective

2.2 Planning and Design

2.2.1 Goshawk Natural History Relevant to the Bioregional Sampling Design

2.2.2 Description and Rationale for Monitoring Design

2.3 Data Collection

2.3.1 Data Collection Methods and Rationale

2.3.2 Quality Control/Quality Assurance

2.3.3 Data Entry Forms

2.3.4 Survey Logistics

2.4 Data Storage and Management

2.5 Data Analysis

2.5.1 Estimating the Bioregional Frequency of Occurrence of Goshawks

2.5.2 Assessing Changes in Goshawk Frequency of Occurrence Over Time

2.5.3 Evaluating Change in Occupancy Rate in Relation to Change in Habitat or Other Environmental Variables

Northern Goshawk Inventory and Monitoring Technical Guide v

2.6 Reporting

2.6.1 Expected Reports

2.6.2 Reporting Schedule

Chapter 3. Goshawk Survey Techniques

3.1 Objectives

3.2 Planning and Design

3.2.1 Aspects of Goshawk Natural History Related to Survey Methodology

3.2.2 Sampling Designs

3.3 Data Collection

3.3.1 Survey Methods

3.3.2 Quality Control/Quality Assurance

3.4. Data Storage

3.5. Data Analysis and Interpretation of Survey Results

3.5.1 Presence

3.5.2 Occupancy

3.5.3 Breeding

3.5.4 Successful Nest

3.5.5 Fledging Rate

3.6 Survey Applications

3.6.1 Territory Monitoring Application

3.6.2 Small Area Survey Application

3.6.3 Large Area Survey Application

3.7 Reporting

Appendix A. Literature Cited

Appendix B. Interactive Spreadsheet for Determining Bioregional Sample Size

Appendix C. Sample PSU Map

Appendix D. Guidelines for Constructing Field Data Collection Forms

–  –  –

1.1 Overview This technical guide provides information on all aspects of inventory and monitoring related to the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and is to be used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service consistent with national direction, local priorities, and available funding, and also by interested partners and collaborators.

When the protocols described in this technical guide are implemented, the resulting data will meet standards of the Data Quality Act and, therefore, will be legally and scientifically defensible and consistent with data collected elsewhere using the same protocols.

The technical guide is divided into three chapters: an overview, a bioregional monitoring design, and a description of inventory and survey methodologies. The technical guide was written for bioregional monitoring coordinators and their survey teams, biologists at forest and district levels, and any other agencies and organizations interested in northern goshawk inventory and monitoring activities.

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the technical guide and describes the business needs that motivate the USDA Forest Service to inventory and monitor goshawks. This chapter also describes the roles and responsibilities of implementing this technical guide and provides the context of goshawk monitoring in relation to other Federal inventory and monitoring programs.

1.2 Background and Business Needs

The northern goshawk has attracted substantial interest over the past two decades because management activities in forest environments have the potential to affect nesting habitat and, hence, population levels of this species. Goshawks tend to nest in mature forests (conifer in the West, deciduous in the East), building large nests that are used by the original pair or successors for many years (Squires and Reynolds 1997). A variety of forest types and structural stages are used as foraging habitat, but the important role of mature forests as long-term nesting sites has placed considerable attention on the goshawk.

The goshawk has been designated a sensitive species in six of the eight USDA Forest Service administrative regions within its geographic range. Because of sensitive species status, 71 national forests are required by USDA Forest Service policy (Forest Service Manual [FSM] 2670 and 2672) (USDA Forest Service 1995, USDA Forest Service 1991) to evaluate the effects of proposed management actions on Northern Goshawk Inventory and Monitoring Technical Guide 1-1 goshawks and document the findings in a biological evaluation that is specific to each proposed action. Any decisions made by a line officer “must not result in loss of species viability or create significant trends toward Federal listing” (FSM 2670.32).

Forest supervisors are given the responsibility to “determine distribution, status, and trend of threatened, endangered, proposed, and sensitive species and their habitat on Forest lands” (FSM 2670.45). Regional foresters are to identify sensitive species that qualify for conservation agreements (FSM 2672.12).

In addition to sensitive species status, 53 national forests (as of 2004) have designated the goshawk as a “management indicator species” (MIS) in their land and resource management plans developed under the National Forest Management Act.

The combined designation of the goshawk as both a sensitive species and an MIS has resulted in a need for information on the status and trend of goshawk populations and habitats throughout its range. The broad geographic distribution of the goshawk has resulted in a need for greater consistency in how this information is collected.

The goshawk has also received attention from members of the public. Environmental organizations submitted petitions in 1991 (Babbitt et al. 1991, Silver et al.

1991) and in 1997 (USFWS 1998a) to list the northern goshawk as threatened or endangered in the Western United States. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) concluded that listing was not warranted, based on the best available information (USFWS 1996, 1998a).The status review team that assembled information for this finding, however, noted that information was not cohesive and they made several recommendations for acquiring more information on population and habitat trends.

One of the recommendations was that “land managers should improve inventory and monitoring of goshawk populations. Improvements should include a standardized protocol to conduct goshawk surveys.” (USFWS 1998b).

The Queen Charlotte goshawk, a recognized subspecies occurring in southeast Alaska, was petitioned for listing in 1994. The USFWS concluded that listing was not warranted (USFWS 1997), but interest remains high regarding conservation of this subspecies.

The northern goshawk is also protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Executive Order 13186 of 2001 clarified responsibilities of Federal agencies regarding migratory bird conservation, and these responsibilities include inventory and monitoring.

In summary, the USDA Forest Service needs information on status and trends of

northern goshawk populations and habitats for the following reasons:

• The goshawk is a sensitive species. Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2670.45 (USDA Forest Service 1995) requires forest supervisors to collect information on sensitive species in order to determine when change in management is warranted.

• Habitat and population information is needed by national forests that have designated the goshawk as an MIS.

1-2 Northern Goshawk Inventory and Monitoring Technical Guide • The USFWS may receive new petitions to list the goshawk and will call on the USDA Forest Service again for information on status and trends of populations and habitats.

• Many public entities, including environmental groups and forest product industries, will continue to ask the USDA Forest Service for information on the status of goshawks on National Forest System lands, because this species, along with mature forests, remains a topic of interest.

Most national forests have partial information on goshawk territories and suitable habitat, and some national forests also have multiyear data on goshawk nest activity. Standardized field protocol for goshawk nest area surveys have been published (Dewey et al. 2003, Joy et al. 1994, Kennedy and Stahlecker 1993, Penteriani 1999) and USDA Forest Service biologists frequently use them. Inventory and monitoring data, however, usually are not comparable across forests because of different definitions for nest and territory occupancy, different levels of survey efforts, and different definitions of habitat. Furthermore, a lack of sampling design, either within a given forest or across administrative units, precludes the ability to evaluate trends in either populations or habitats. Consequently, most existing information is limited to the spatial occurrence of nests and a rough estimate of territory size and distribution.

To obtain consistent, reliable information on the status and trend of goshawk populations and habitats, USDA Forest Service biologists, research scientists, and

members of the academic community identified a need for the following:

• Bioregional population monitoring in relation to habitat changes.

• Forest-level monitoring of the local effects of management actions.

• Inventory and survey standards that are based on published field protocol.

This technical guide was developed to fulfill these information needs.

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