Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Dr. Medhavi Ambardar

Abstract

The Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) is the largest Buteo species occurring in grasslands, nesting along bluffs, buttes and isolated trees. In Kansas, the Ferruginous Hawk is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need, Tier II. A previous study on Ferruginous Hawks nesting in Kansas during the years of 1979 to 1987, with sporadic visits from the 1990s to 2000, revealed that the most productive nesting territories were inaccessible to predators, placed on rocky ledges and the surrounding landscape was over 50% rangeland. I revisited 82 of the 111 historic nest territories in the summers of 2019 and 2020. When a nest was found I flew a drone above the nest to determine if it was occupied and to photograph the nest contents. Of the 82 territories searched, 10 territories were occupied with a total of 18 chicks in 2019 and in 2020, 13 territories were occupied with a total of 17 chicks. All nests were placed on rocky ledges or columns. The findings of this study will be used by KDWPT to determine conservation practices that ensure the persistence of the Ferruginous Hawk in contemporary rangelands.

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

Rights

Copyright 2021 Erica Clark


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