Mourning Dove and White-winged Dove Habitat Association Based on Remotely Sensed Land Cover Types in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas




Collins, Margaret L.

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I compared presence or absence of White-winged Doves (Zenaida asiatica) and Mourning Doves (Z macroura) in south Texas to the 2001 National Land Classification Database (NLCD) categories. My objective was to determine which, if any, categories from the NLCD classification scheme could be used to predict each species occurrence. My study was conducted between 15 May and 15 August in 2007 and 2008. I used point-transect methodology to conduct presence/absence surveys for both species at 236 points encompassing 744 observations. Land classification categories were quantified using geographic information systems (GIS). Each point and its associated 300-m buffer were projected on NLCD maps. I then used GIS to determine proportions of each land classification type within the area of each buffer. Randomization tests were used to compare proportions of land cover types present at points with and without doves. I used program DISTANCE to determine if land cover types associated with dove presence had higher estimated densities than those not associated with doves. My results indicated that White-winged Dove occurrence in south Texas was positively associated with land cover categorized as urban and cropland, while Mourning Dove occurrence was positively associated with crop land cover type. In land cover types found to be associated with dove presence, the estimated density for each dove species increased as proportion of associated land cover increased.



mourning dove, white-winged dove, habitat, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas


Collins, M. L. (2009). Mourning dove and white-winged dove habitat association based on remotely sensed land cover types in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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