How Large-scale Forest Conditions Influence Northern Goshawk Nesting
The nesting habitat requirements of the northern goshawk, a forest-sensitive species in northern Wisconsin, were analyzed in a research--forest management collaboration. Goshawks are woodland raptors that use a variety of forest types for nesting, making it difficult to determine nesting habitat requirements at the regional level. The hawks are associated with mature forests with large trees and open understories but may select nesting locations as close as possible to foraging habitats. Forest Service scientists in partnership with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest examined how landscape-scale forest composition and road density at several different distances from nest sites and random locations throughout the forest influenced goshawk nesting presence. Nest survey and monitoring data from 1997 to 2006 indicate greater conifer and less aspen-birch cover, and fewer primary roads are in the area surrounding nests. The key driver is the ratio of conifer cover to aspen-birch cover surrounding a potential nest site. These results are extremely useful in sustaining populations throughout the forest.
Forest Service Partners