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Population size of Island loggerhead shrikes on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands

Authors

  • Thomas R. Stanley,

    Corresponding author
    1. United States Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building C, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
    • United States Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building C, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
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  • Susan Teel,

    1. United States National Park Service, Southern California Research Learning Center, 401 W Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360, USA
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  • Linnea S. Hall,

    1. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, 439 Calle San Pablo, Camarillo, CA 93012, USA
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  • Linda C. Dye,

    1. United States National Park Service, Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93003, USA
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  • Lyndal L. Laughrin

    1. University of California Santa Barbara, Natural Reserve System, Marine Science Building 2312, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
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  • Associate Editor: Koper

Abstract

Island loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi) are an endemic, genetically distinct subspecies of loggerhead shrike on California's Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Catalina Islands (USA). This subspecies is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the California Department of Fish and Game and has been petitioned for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. The combination of suspected low numbers and the possibility of federal listing, prompted us to undertake a study to rigorously estimate the number of remaining individuals on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands. During the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons, we surveyed sample units on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands using a double-observer method with independent observers to estimate joint detection probabilities (p), where we selected units under a stratified random sampling design. We estimated shrike abundance to be 169 in 2009 (p = 0.476) and 240 in 2010 (p = 0.825) for Santa Rosa Island, and 35 in 2009 (p = 0.816) and 42 in 2010 (p = 0.710) for Santa Cruz Island. These numbers, especially for Santa Rosa Island, are higher than previously reported but nevertheless are still low. Rapid vegetation change on both islands due to recent removal of nonnative herbivores may threaten the habitat and status of this subspecies and, therefore, we suggest that intensive demographic and habitat use research be initiated immediately to obtain additional information vital for the management of this subspecies. Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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