Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: North Carolina
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

North Carolina Project

Optimal Sampling of Animal Communities.

September 2014 - September 2019


Participating Agencies

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has approximately 2.4-2.5 million acres of private lands enrolled in the Safe Harbor Program for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (RCW) across the Southeast. The RCW could be viewed as a “surrogate” species, and the interest of the USFWS is in quantifying and evaluating the conservation benefits of RCW practices on non-surrogate species. The objective of this work is to develop a sampling scheme that will help USFWS quantify the benefits of Safe Harbor Management Agreements (SHMA) on non-surrogate species across southeastern United States. Because SHMAs influence present and future habitat conditions, the sampling scheme will be geared towards estimating parameters that quantify species richness and the dynamics of single species or avian communities over time (e.g., occupancy, extinction and colonization rates, inference about interactions). This work will tap existing occupancy-based models, develop extensions if needed, but center their application around a sound and flexible sampling design for implementation across the southeast.