Victoria A. Saab
Research Wildlife Biologist
1648 South 7th Avenue, MSU Campus
Contact Victoria A. Saab
1. Determine ecological consequences of fire and other landscape stressors for avian communities of dry coniferous forests of the Interior West. 2. Examine breeding ecology of the black-backed, Lewis's, and white-headed woodpeckers in burned and unburned forests of the Inland Pacific Northwest. 3. Developing habitat suitability models from both field-collected and remotely-sensed data to predict bird distributions under different climate and management scenarios. 4. Developing statistically valid, standardized methods for occupancy and effectiveness monitoring of woodpeckers in relation to habitat restoration and fire management activities. 5. Determine the effect of fuels reduction treatments on habitat suitability of selected woodpeckers. 6. Provide managers with tools and results to help understand and estimate occupancy of selected woodpeckers throughout the USFS Pacific Northwest Region. 7. Develop historic and future woodpecker nesting habitats under different management & climate scenarios. 8. Identify future needs of habitat suitability for nesting woodpeckers to help guide forest restoration activities.
My research focuses on understanding wildlife habitat relationships to provide guidance on management activities that promote wildlife population and habitat persistence. Next steps will focus on 1) validation and refinement of habitat suitability models for woodpeckers under current conditions, 2) development of habitat suitability models for historic and future climate and land management scenarios, and 3) developing training workshops to instruct managers and biologists on creating habitat suitability maps that will be used to guide forest restoration activities (i.e. determine most appropriate locations for treatments).
Recent efforts to mitigate severe fire effects and restore ecological function in dry coniferous forests have taken on a new urgency due to observed and anticipated effects of climate change. Currently, fuel reduction treatments are the primary focus of dry coniferous forest restoration. This will necessitate land managers to consider the implications of forest management actions on a range of resources, including wildlife. Consequently, managers need reliable information about climate-fire-vegetation interactions to effectively achieve their goals of forest restoration, while maintaining wildlife habitat and other sensitive resources. Land managers face significant challenges implementing forest restoration activities while concurrently meeting the requirements of existing laws to maintain wildlife habitat. Therefore, tools to predict potential wildlife habitat in landscapes affected by restoration activities are needed to help managers with timely decisions regarding treatment options.
Why This Research is Important
1. Co-edited a volume Fire and Avian Ecology in North America used in environmental analyses to examine effects of different fire conditions on avian species and communities. 2. Development of standardized methods for monitoring populations and habitats of cavity-nesting birds that are widely used in western forests and facilitate comparisons across studies. 3. Development of spatially explicit habitat suitability maps used for targeting management activities related to postfire salvage logging and forest restoration; areas identified as lower habitat suitability are considered for management activities, whereas those with higher suitability are identified for deferred, different, or maintenance treatments.
- Oklahoma State University, B.S. Wildlife Ecology 1977
- Montana State University, M.S. Fish and Wildlife Management 1986
- University of Colorado, Ph.D. Environmental, Population and Organismal Biology 1996
Featured Publications & Products
- Newlon, Karen R.; Saab, Victoria A. 2011. Nest-site selection and nest survival of Lewis's woodpecker in aspen riparian woodlands.
- Wightman, Catherine S.; Saab, Victoria A.; Forristal, Chris; Mellen-Mclean, Kim; Markus, Amy. 2010. White-headed woodpecker nesting ecology after wildfire.
- Russell, Robin E.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Buckland, Stephen T.; Saab, Victoria A. 2010. Short-term responses of red squirrels to prescribed burning in the interior Pacific Northwest, USA.
- Pierson, Jennifer; Allendorf, Fred W.; Saab, Vicki; Drapeau, Pierre; Schwartz, Michael K. 2010. Do male and female black-backed woodpeckers respond differently to gaps in habitat.
- Russell, Robin E.; Royle, J. Andrew; Saab, Victoria A.; Lehmkuhl, John F.; Block, William M.; Sauer, John R. 2009. Modeling the effects of environmental disturbance on wildlife communities: Avian responses to prescribed fire.
- Sanderlin, Jamie S.; Block, William M.; Strohmeyer, Brenda E.; Saab, Victoria A.; Ganey, Joseph L. 2019. Precision gain versus effort with joint models using detection/non detection and banding data.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Latif, Quresh S.; Dresser, Matthew A.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2019. Woodpecker nest survival, density, and a pine beetle outbreak.
- Latif, Quresh S.; Saab, Victoria A.; Haas, Jessica R.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2018. FIRE-BIRD: A GIS-based toolset for applying habitat suitability models to inform land management planning.
- Kelly, Julia J.; Latif, Quresh S.; Saab, Vicki A.; Veblen, Thomas T. 2018. Spruce beetle outbreaks guide American Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides dorsalis occupancy patterns in subalpine forests.
- Latif, Quresh S.; Ellis, Martha M.; Saab, Victoria A.; Mellen-McLean, Kim. 2017. Simulations inform design of regional occupancy-based monitoring for a sparsely distributed, territorial species.
- Latif, Quresh; Sanderlin, Jamie; Saab, Vicki; Block, William; Dudley, Jonathan. 2016. Avian relationships with wildfire at two dry forest locations with different historical fire regimes.
- Hutto, Richard L.; Keane, Robert E.; Sherriff, Rosemary L.; Rota, Christopher T.; Eby, Lisa A.; Saab, Vicki. 2016. Toward a more ecologically informed view of severe forest fires.
- Latif, Quresh S.; Saab, Vicki; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2016. Transferability of habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers associated with wildfire.
- Latif, Quresh S.; Saab, Victoria A.; Mellen-Mclean, Kim; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2015. Evaluating habitat suitability models for nesting white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forest.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Latif, Quresh S.; Rowland, Mary M.; Johnson, Tracey N.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Heyward, Joslin E.; Dresser, Matthew A. 2014. Ecological consequences of mountain pine beetle outbreaks for wildlife in western North American forests.
- Hahn, Beth; Saab, Vicki; Bentz, Barbara; Loehman, Rachel; Keane, Bob. 2014. Ecological consequences of the MPB epidemic for habitats and populations of wildlife Chapter 5.
- Latif, Quresh S.; Saab, Victoria A.; Dudley, Jonathan G.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P. 2013. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist.
- Tobalske, Bret W.; Vierling, Kerri T.; Saab, Victoria A. 2013. Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis.
- Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Bate, Lisa J.; Saab, Victoria A.; Lehmkuhl, John F. 2013. Snag distributions in relation to human access in ponderosa pine forests.
- Bond, Monica L.; Siegel, Rodney B.; Hutto, Richard L.; Saab, Victoria A.; Shunk, Stephen A. 2012. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires.
- Towler, Erin; Saab, Victoria A.; Sojda, Richard S.; Dickinson, Katherine; Bruyere, Cindy L.; Newlon, Karen R. 2012. A risk-based approach to evaluating wildlife demographics for management in a changing climate: A case study of the Lewis's Woodpecker.
- Dudley, Jonathan G.; Saab, Victoria A.; Hollenbeck, Jeffrey P. 2012. Foraging-habitat selection of Black-backed Woodpeckers in forest burns of southwestern Idaho.
- Block, William M.; Saab, Victoria A.; Ruggiero, Leonard. 2012. Putting science into action on Forest Service Lands Chapter 5.
- Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Saab, Vicki; Frenzel, Richard W. 2011. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon.
- Saab, Vicki; Russell, Robin E.; Rotella, Jay; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2011. Modeling nest survival of cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging.
- Buckland, Stephen T.; Russell, Robin E.; Dickson, Brett G.; Saab, Victoria A.; Gorman, Donal N.; Block, William M. 2009. Analysing designed experiments in distance sampling.
- Russell, Robin E.; Saab, Victoria A.; Rotella, Jay J.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2009. Detection probabilities of woodpecker nests in mixed conifer forests in Oregon.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Russell, Robin E.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2009. Nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging.
- Fowler, James F.; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Dickson, Brett G.; Saab, Victoria. 2008. Exotic plant species diversity: Influence of roads and prescribed fire in Arizona ponderosa pine forests.
- Hutto, Richard L.; Conway, Courtney J.; Saab, Victoria A.; Walters, Jeffrey R. 2008. What constitutes a natural fire regime Insight from the ecology and distribution of coniferous forest birds in North America.
- Russell, Robin E.; Saab, Victoria A.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2007. Habitat suitability models for cavity-nesting birds in a postfire landscape.
- Dudley, Jonathan G.; Saab, Victoria A. 2007. Home range size of Black-backed Woodpeckers in burned forests of southwestern Idaho.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Russell, Robin E.; Dudley, Jonathan G. 2007. Nest densities of cavity-nesting birds in relation to postfire salvage logging and time since wildfire.
- Russell, Robin E.; Saab, Victoria A.; Dudley, Jonathan G.; Rotella, Jay J. 2006. Snag longevity in relation to wildfire and postfire salvage logging.
- Tewksbury, Joshua J.; Garner, Lindy; Garner, Shannon H.; Lloyd, John D.; Saab, Victoria A.; Martin, Thomas E. 2006. Tests of landscape influence: nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems.
- Rich, Terrell D.; Wisdom, Michael J.; Saab, Victoria A. 2005. Conservation of priority birds in sagebrush ecosystems.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Powell, Hugh D. W. 2005. Fire and avian ecology in North America: Process influencing pattern.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Kotliar, Natasha B.; Block, William M. 2005. Relationships of fire ecology and avian communities in North America.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Powell, Hugh D. W.; Kotliar, Natasha B.; Newlon, Karen R. 2005. Variation in fire regimes of the Rocky Mountains: implications for avian communities and fire management.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Dudley, Jonathan; Thompson, William L. 2004. Factors influencing occupancy of nest cavities in recently burned forests.
- Abele, Stephen C.; Saab, Victoria A.; Garton, Edward O. 2004. Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis): A technical conservation assessment.
- Dudley, J.; Saab, V. 2003. A field protocol to monitor cavity-nesting birds.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Brannon, Ree; Dudley, Jonathan; Donohoo, Larry; Vanderzanden, Dave; Johnson, Vicky; Lachowski, Henry. 2002. Selection of fire-created snags at two spatial scales by cavity-nesting birds.
- Shaw, N. L.; Saab, V. A.; Monsen, S. B.; Rich, T. D. 1999. Bromus tectorum expansion and biodiversity loss on the Snake River Plain, southern Idaho, USA.
- Saab, Victoria A.; Rich, Terrell D. 1997. Large-scale conservation assessment for Neotropical migratory land birds in the interior Columbia River basin..
- Clary, Warren P.; Shaw, Nancy L.; Dudley, Jonathan G.; Saab, Victoria A.; Kinney, John W.; Smithman, Lynda C. 1996. Response of a depleted sagebrush steppe riparian system to grazing control and woody plantings.
- Bock, Carl E.; Saab, Victoria A.; Rich, Terrell D.; Dobkin, David S. 1993. Effects of livestock grazing on neotropical migratory landbirds in western North America.
Citations of non US Forest Service Publications
Johnson, V., D. Vanderzanden, H. Lachowski, V. A. Saab, L. Donohoo. 2000. Using landsat satellite imagery to evaluate fire‐created habitat for cavity‐nesting birds. USDA, Forest Service, Remote Sensing Tips RSAC‐12‐TIP1, Remote Sensing Applications Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Johnson, V., V. A. Saab, D. Vanderzanden, H. Lachowski, R. Brannon, and C. Crist. 2000. Using landsat satellite imagery to evaluate fire‐created habitat for cavity‐nesting birds. In: Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technologies for the New Millennium; Proceedings of the Eighth Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Conference, 10‐14 April 2000, Albuquerque, New Mexico, editor Greer, J.D. American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
Dixon, R.D., and V. A. Saab. 2000. Black‐backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus). In: The Birds of North America. No. 509. (Poole, A. and Gill, F. eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington D.C.
- Saab, V.A., C.E. Bock, T.D. Rich, and D.S. Dobkin. 1995. Livestock grazing effects in western North America. In T.E. Martin and D.M. Finch [eds.], Ecology and management of Neotropical migratory birds: a synthesis and review of critical issues. Pages 311-353. Oxford University Press, New York
Saab, V. A. 1992. Small land birds breeding in cottonwood riparian forests of southeastern Idaho. The Northwest Environmental Journal 8: 226-228.
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