OA 98: Pilot Project – Home Range and Habitat Use of Zone-tailed Hawks
March 2021 - December 2024
The zone-tailed hawk (Buteo albonotatus) is a medium sized bird of prey with a broad yet patchy distribution across the southwestern United States, where it is purported (but not confirmed) to be migratory. Ecologically, they are one of the least understood and studied raptor species occurring in North American. In Texas they are protected as a threatened species, but this listing is largely based on a lack of quantitative data, perceptions of small populations, and risk of habitat loss due to degradation and loss of riparian woodlands. However, no quantitative data are available regarding the species home range size, habitat use, or migration ecology in the southwestern United States. In this pilot study we are attempting to capture and deploy GPS transmitters on zone-tailed hawks in the Trans Pecos region of Texas. This project is determining the difficulty in capturing the species and if the data obtained from a small sample of GPS transmitters will justify expansion of the project into a full study.