Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Geography

Committee Chair

Dr. Robert Hickey

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Lipton

Abstract

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations have been fluctuating throughout the United States. A primary focus in studying these birds has been on the decline of the small raptor along the East Coast of the United States. This project focuses on the American Kestrel populations within Washington State between 2005 and 2011. The goal of this project was to determine whether or not the trend in Washington are similar to those along the East Coast. This study uses data from Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Christmas Bird Count, and North American Breeding Bird Survey for American Kestrel Sightings. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) was used for its landcover datasets. Using ArcGIS Pro, kestrel sightings were overlain with USGS Landcover data in corresponding pairs given the landcover type the raptors where witnessed in. The comparison of landcover change within Washington over the 6-year span was also considered. This data has shown that even with the change in landcover within Washington State over the 6-year time span utilized for this study, the kestrel populations have increased in numbers within the state and have been sighted within the same classification of land cover. This information can be used to help create a plan that would allow the current population to continue to flourish within Washington State.

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