Status of the Black-capped Vireo at Fort Hood, TX, Volume 2: Habitat
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
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The black-capped vireo is an endangered species that resides at Fort Hood, TX during the summer breeding season. A 3-year ecological status survey of the vireo was conducted on Fort Hood from 1987 through 1989 as part of the effort to fully comply with the Endangered Species Act. The two other reports in this series focus on vireo distribution and abundance, and population and nesting ecology. In this study, a modified version of the James Shugart method of vegetation assessment was used to compare occupied and unoccupied habitats. Both univariate and multivariate analyses confirmed that the vireo prefers areas with abundant low hardwood vegetation, and avoids areas with abundant juniper cover. Such habitats typically result several years after fire in otherwise mature oak-juniper woodland. Actual hardwood species composition was variable among colony sites, more so than habitat structure. Species diversity and evenness did not differ substantially between occupied and unoccupied areas. Territory size was independent of habitat quality. Evidence suggests that vireo numbers may be below existing carrying capacity on Fort Hood. The continued evaluation of vireo habitat and numbers establishes the basis for long-term habitat maintenance and planning.