The Common Raven in Cliff Habitat: Detection and Occupancy

Grants and Contracts Details


The common raven (Corvus corax) is a cliff-nesting bird species of conservation interest in Kentucky. Suitable breeding habitat appears to be extensive in Kentucky but the status ofthis species in cliffhabitat is largely unknown. We propose to characterize the detectability and autecology ofthe common raven in c1iffhabitat and to develop protocols for monitoring the occupancy ofkey habitat in eastern portions ofthe Commonwealth. Study objectives are to: (1) quantify factors affecting the detectability ofthe raven in cliffhabitat, (2) quantify landscape attributes ofknown breeding locations at multiple scales, (3) develop and initiate protocols for monitoring the occupancy of key potential breeding habitats in Kentucky. Detectability will be estimated by conducting surveys at sites known to be occupied by ravens in the Southern Appalachians. These sites will provide the basis for a site-attribute habitat model that will quantify breeding habitat in the region. Key potential breeding habitats will be identified based on historical observations, the expertise ofbiologists in the Commonwealth, and on recent sighting information. Protocols for monitoring their occupancy will be based on the estimate of detectability (objective 1). We expect to generate new information for detecting breeding ravens at Kentucky's cliffs and on habitat features that might be important in their occupancy of potential breeding sites. We expect to develop a consensus on where the most likely breeding locations for these species are in the Commonwealth, and to initiate a plan for their long-term periodic monitoring. Finally, we will opportunistically gather similar data on ravens discovered to nest in non-cliff habitat in the state.
Effective start/end date7/1/086/30/10


  • KY Department of Fish and Wildlife: $30,000.00


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