The Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia is a federally endangered Neotropical migrant that inhabits montane pine-oak forests in Mexico and northern Central America during the non-breeding season. Although it is known that Golden-cheeked Warblers are closely associated with ‘encino’ oaks (evergreen or holm oak) such as Quercus sapotifolia, Q. eliptica and Q. elongata, which have shiny, narrow, elliptical, or oblong leaves, quantitative habitat targets are useful for effectively incorporating this information into conservation planning and forest management practices. We analysed data on wintering Golden-cheeked Warblers collected during the non-breeding season in Honduras from 1996 to 1998 to identify quantitative targets for habitat conditions for this species. Data on warbler abundance were collected using line transect surveys located in montane pine-oak forests in a stratified-random fashion. Habitat data were collected at five 0.04 ha plots on these same transects and the averaged values used as predictors of Golden-cheeked Warbler abundance. We found that Golden-cheeked Warblers were strongly associated with the basal area of encino oaks and density of ‘roble’ oaks, such as Q. segoviensis, Q. purulhana and Q. rugosa, which have large, lobed leaves. Density of Golden-cheeked Warblers peaked at ≈ 5.6 m2 ha–1 basal area of encino and ≈7 roble oaks ha–1. These values can be used to identify quantitative habitat targets that can be directly incorporated into forest management practices to ensure that these activities maintain habitat conditions necessary for their use by Golden-cheeked Warblers.
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