Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McConnell, Mark D.

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Committee Member

Rush, Scott A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


The Bachman’s sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) is a ground-dwelling, pine-obligate species experiencing range-wide population declines due to land development and fire exclusion. We explored the effects of fire seasonality on wintering Bachman’s sparrow abundance in Southern Mississippi from 2021-2022. We used generalized linear mixed models to investigate differences in sparrow abundance and vegetation characteristics following dormant and growing season fire. We explored the effects of growing season fire on breeding territory vegetation characteristics. Our results indicate that burn type (dormant vs. growing season), native grass groundcover, and shrubs over 1m were the most significant predictors for wintering Bachman’s sparrow abundance. Additionally, native grass groundcover increased in growing season breeding territories post-fire while grass standing crop and shrubs over 1m decreased. We recommend a combination of dormant and growing season fire when feasible to promote a matrix of conditions suitable for Bachman’s sparrows throughout their life cycle in the Southeastern United States.

Available for download on Friday, August 15, 2025