You are here

Northern goshawk and its prey in the Black Hills: Habitat assessment

Posted date: July 16, 2015
Publication Year: 
2015
Authors: Graham, Russell T.; Bayard de Volo, Shelley; Reynolds, Richard T.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-339. Fort Collins, CO: U.S, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 177 p.

Abstract

The northern goshawk is classified as a Sensitive Species in all USDA Forest Service regions, including on the Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. An assessment was conducted of the quality of northern goshawk nesting and foraging habitat, along with the habitat quality of 22 of the goshawk’s prey species. A Delphi (expert panel) evaluation of goshawk and prey habitat in 3,414 watersheds averaging 449 acres (182 ha) in size was completed by wildlife biologists from the Black Hills National Forest. The quality of goshawk nesting and foraging habitat and of prey group habitats was reported individually, then combined for each watershed. The optimum goshawk and prey habitat, totaling 67 watersheds or 34,427 acres (13,932 ha), was distributed throughout the nearly 1.5 million-acre (about 607,000-ha) Black Hills National Forest. Panel members found that the Bear Lodge Mountains, located in northeastern Wyoming, proportionally had the most optimum, high-, and medium-rated habitat. Wildfire, bark beetles, urban encroachment, and timber harvest can negatively affect northern goshawks and their prey’s habitat. However, increasing the amount and presence of quaking aspen forests within the Black Hills will most likely improve the habitat of the goshawk by improving the habitat for many of its prey. Using previously articulated conditions as a template in the Forest Vegetation Simulator, we designed an example 100-year silvicultural system to create and maintain forest conditions for the northern goshawk and its prey on the Black Hills Experimental Forest.

Citation

Graham, Russell T.; Bayard de Volo, Shelley; Reynolds, Richard T. 2015. Northern goshawk and its prey in the Black Hills: Habitat assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-339. Fort Collins, CO: U.S, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 177 p.