Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rush, Scott A.

Committee Member

Evans, David L.

Committee Member

Tirpak, John M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Identifying species occurrence in ecosystems of high conservation concern is especially important in the context of modern landscapes. This study investigated how stand-scale and landscape-scale factors affect priority birds associated with longleaf pine (Pinus palutris) ecosystems. Herein, I compared priority bird occupancy among 12 stand types throughout the historic range of longleaf pine. I found open pine stands positively influenced red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) and Bachman’s sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) occupancy, but were not significantly linked to northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and brown-headed nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) occurrence. Landscape- and stand-scale factors affected red-cockaded woodpecker, Bachman’s sparrow, and brown-headed nuthatch occupancy. Northern bobwhite occupancy was influenced solely by landscape-scale factors. Red-cockaded woodpecker and Bachman’s sparrow were positively influenced by metrics associated with longleaf pine ecosystems suggesting they are effective indicator species. My analysis indicates that using this multi-scale approach is valuable to identifying areas on the landscape of conservation and restoration priority.



Bachman's Sparrow||priority species||Longleaf pine||Red-cockaded Woodpecker||restoration||occupancy