Little baseline information on the types of raptor species, relative abundance and distribution is currently known in and around the Florence Military Reservation (FMR). Subsequently, it is also uncertain what extent proposed land use projects such as developing additional buildings and increasing the military training activity within the FMR will affect the ability of raptors to continue to use this area. Fall migration and spring breeding raptor surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2008 to identify species and distribution of raptor activity centers, including nesting areas, in and around the FMR. This information will be useful to managers in mitigating any potential disturbance and mortalities toraptors due to military training
The FMR, owned and managed by the Arizona Army National Guard, is located approximately 30 miles southeast of Phoenix.
We established survey points spaced approximately 400m apart along the road network within the FMR. Additional survey points were established along the Gila River (between Cochran and the diversion dam) due to the significance of the riparian corridor to act as a migratory/dispersal pathway for raptors. We surveyed for all raptors from October through November 2007 and April through June 2008. Other species not technically considered raptors yet have some resemblances (e.g., common raven and turkey vulture) were also documented. Surveys were conducted during periods of higher raptor activity, specifically morning and late afternoon. Three survey passes were conducted at each survey point. An observer recorded all raptors observed for 5 minutes at each point taking special care not to double count any raptors. Locations of each bird were recorded with the aid of a global positioning system. In addition to road surveys, all stick nests identified on FMR were revisited in March and April 2008 to document raptor nesting activity.
Raptor surveys conducted within FMR provide baseline data for long-term monitoring on this military installation. Identifying where raptors are spending their time (e.g., stick nests or cavities, perched upon utility poles, abandoned buildings, etc.) within FMR will allow managers to mitigate any potential fatalities due to electrocutions, building demolition, or construction.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Ingraldi, Ph.D., Arizona Game and Fish Department
5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000.
Phone: (928) 532-5625 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org