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Breeding bird density and habitat selection across western Kenai Peninsula wetlands, Alaska

Breeding bird density and habitat selection across western Kenai Peninsula wetlands, Alaska
Erika McDonald, MSES, 2008

Distance sampling was used to survey breeding birds on the Kenai Peninsula between May 7and June 29, 2007. Twelve wetlands within each of five ecosystem types designated by The Wetland Mapping and Classification of the Kenai Lowland (Gracz et al. 2005) were surveyed within two study areas.

For 29 of 65 detected species, program DISTANCE was used to estimate densities from 112 point count surveys. Overall results were similar for both study areas, as well as within all five ecosystem types.

However, results indicated that the Ninilchik study area exhibited higher mean richness and higher mean densities than the Kenai study area, whereas the Kenai study area exhibited a higher mean abundance. Aquatic species favored Kenai, whereas non-aquatic species favored Ninilchik.

The overall density of the Ninilchik study area was 20 percent higher than the Kenai study area. Discharge slope, kettle, and lakebed wetlands appeared to be favored over riparian and drainageway wetlands.