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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinars / Taking Flight: Urban Forest Stewardship for Bird Conservation using i-Tree Eco software

Taking Flight: Urban Forest Stewardship for Bird Conservation using i-Tree Eco software

cape may warbler
Jerry Bauer

May 12, 2021

Each May, World Migratory Bird Day brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas - bird migration - and reminds us that many birds aren’t connected to a single place, but survive and even thrive in diverse habitats during often long and arduous passage across a broad swath of landscapes and ecosystems in an increasingly urbanized planet. Dr. Wayne Arendt and Jerry Bauer, both with the USDA Forest Service’sInternational Institute of Tropical Forestry based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will share how the combination of decades of bird data linked to natural and innate variables generated by US Forest Service i-Tree and i-Tree Eco software can provide new insights into the many ways highly disparate and dispersed urban green areas, including urban forests with their complex structure, composition and diverse mixture of native and introduced species, can influence urban bird biodiversity and promote natural and anthropogenic ecosystem services provided to Santo Domingo, and the city’s reciprocity promoting sustainable and functional benefits to trees, birds and all incumbent life forms. Robert Northrop, an extension forester with the University of Florida, will discuss what this means for urban forest stewardship, and how local decisions can have a synergistic impact on urban terrestrial and marine resident and migratory birds, ecosystem services and human well-being across a migratory landscape.


View the webinar podcast »

Part 1:
Wayne J. Arendt
Wildlife Biologist
International Institute for Tropical Forestry
USDA Forest Service


Jerry Bauer
Director for International Cooperation
International Institute for Tropical Forestry
USDA Forest Service
Hyper link to slides:  UCFMay2021_Arendt_Bauer_slides

Part 3:
Rob Northrop
Extension Forester
University of Florida
Hyper link to slides: UCFMay2021_NorthropSlides


Wayne Arendt is a Supervisory Research Ornithologist with the USDA Forest Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry for 43 years. He is stationed at the Sabana Research Field Station in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (El Yunque National Forest) in northeastern Puerto Rico.  Site includes current research, research interests, and past research.

Gerald "Jerry" Bauer publications

Arendt, PhD, Wayne J.  2019.  Urban Green Areas and Birds Save the Dominican Government and Santo Domingo Residents Millions of Dollars Each Year
Conventional wisdom has presupposed that urban biodiversity, ecosystem function and ecosystem services are inescapably and critically impacted in all urban settings.  But growing numbers of urban research studies are discovering a rich biodiversity among urban plants and animals in temperate and, more recently, tropical cities worldwide. USDA Forest Service researchers and partners are uncovering a spatiotemporal plethora of native and introduced trees, bushes, ornamental plants, and birds along a suburban-to-inner city continuum throughout the greater Santo Domingo metroplex in the Dominican Republic. 

Arendt, W., Paulino, M., Paulino, L., Tórrez, M., Lane, O.  (2019) Colonization of Hispaniola by Margarops fuscatus Vieillot (Pearly-eyed Thrasher).  Urban Naturalist.  23:1-24. 
Margarops fuscatus (Pearly-eyed Thrasher) is the Caribbean’s premier avian supertramp. Concurrent with urban development, it continues to expand its geographical and habitat range throughout the region, especially in the Greater Antilles.

Lerman, S., Nislow, K., Nowak, D., DeStefano, S., King, D., Jones-Farrand, D.  (2014) Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential (iTree).  Landscape and Urban Planning 122:29-40
The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. 

2020. E. Wood and Esaian, E. The importance of street tree to urban avifauna. Ecological Applications 30(7). To understand the importance of street trees to urban avifauna, we documented foraging behavior by birds on native and non‐native street trees across a socioeconomic gradient throughout LA.

National Wildlife Federation

North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI)
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) is a forum of government agencies, private organizations and bird initiatives helping partners across the continent meet their common bird conservation objectives.

Bailey's Eco-regions
This map is commonly called Bailey's ecoregions and shows ecosystems of regional extent in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, based on conditions in 1994. Four levels of detail are included to show a hierarchy of ecosystems.