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Goshawk status and management: What do we know, what have we done, where are we going?


Boyce, Douglas A., Jr.; Reynolds, Richard T.; Graham, Russell T. 2006. Goshawk status and management: What do we know, what have we done, where are we going? In: Morrison, Michael, ed. The northern goshawk: a technical assessment of its status ecology, and management. Studies in Avian Biology. 31: 312-325.

Although the Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is not listed as a threatened or endangered species in the US, five of nine regions of the USDA Forest Service have designated the goshawk as a sensitive species. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) believes goshawks are secure but some TNC state offices believe the species to be rare. A recent literature review found no strong evidence for a range-wide population decline (Kennedy 1997). The vastness of the North American forest and the elusiveness of goshawks prevent a reliable estimate of the number of breeding goshawks. In Alaska alone, the size of the boreal forest exceeds the size of the states of Oregon and Washington combined. In the continental US, the number of known breeding areas breeding documented at least once has been tallied for years and is estimated to exceed 3,000. However, habitat change is believed to have reduced the number of breeding goshawks by degrading the structural character of forests used for nesting and foraging. Forest fragmentation is known to have caused goshawk declines in Europe and extensive forest cutting in the 18th and 19th centuries probably caused goshawk declines in the northeastern US. Habitat quality and availability are also important for supporting the diverse array of goshawk prey species. Goshawks nest and hunt in many forest types. However, in the western US, 78% of the known nesting areas are in ponderosa pine forests (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir forests (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Awareness of the potential effects of habitat change on goshawks has increased among land managers responsible for these and other forest types. Important changes in management have taken place since the 1970s as a result of increased understanding of essential goshawk resources and the extent of spatial and temporal scales that require simultaneous consideration for long-term management of goshawks. A conservation strategy that restores and sustains forest ecosystems to support goshawks have been implemented throughout the southwestern US. The concepts in the southwestern goshawk conservation strategy are used extensively to manage goshawks, and they are complementary to regional management strategies such as the Northwest Forest Plan and the Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment.

Keywords: Accipter gentilis, habitat management, habitats, management, Northern Goshawk, status


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Goshawk status and management: What do we know, what have we done, where are we going?
Electronic Publish Date: November 28, 2007
Last Update:
November 28, 2007

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