Improved Survey Methods for Studying the Critically Endangered Grenada Dove

(January 21, 2015, The Condor: Ornithological Applications)—The Grenada Dove (Leptotila wellsi) is a critically endangered bird found only on the island of Grenada. Past surveys of its population have found only 68-91 calling males (or 136-182 individuals, if they were all paired with females)—but is that accurate? For a new open-access study published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, Frank Rivera-Milán of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and his colleagues visited a systematic grid of points in Grenada Dove habitat, with the goals of improving survey methods and identifying dove association with habitat features. They detected 160 individuals, plus or minus about 30. According to their results, doves were easiest to detect in early morning and late afternoon, and they were more abundant in areas with plenty of food and vegetation cover and less abundant in disturbed areas. The authors recommend that their survey method could be used to assess the dove population’s response to management strategies such as forest restoration and the removal of non-native predators. Read the open-access paper at http://www.aoucospubs.org/doi/full/10.1650/CONDOR-14-131.1.

The Grenada Dove (Leptotila wellsi) has a restricted distribution and small population size.  Photo credit: Greg R. Homel

The Grenada Dove (Leptotila wellsi) has a restricted distribution and small population size. Photo credit: Greg R. Homel

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