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Foraging ecology of the Northern Goshawk in coastal British Columbia

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
Author: Case, Gwyn
Effective wildlife conservation requires understanding diet composition and its consequences for population demography. I measured the diet of an at-risk population of Northern Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) in southwestern British Columbia during two breeding seasons using pellets, prey remains, and nest cameras. I compared diet composition across two ecological zones and assessed the impact of dietary diversity and specialization on goshawk productivity. Goshawks consumed 33 different species but primarily consumed pine squirrels (Tamiascuirus spp.), which composed 14-61% of dietary biomass, depending on source. Diet composition differed slightly between the coastal and transition zones. I also conducted a pilot study of goshawk breeding season movement using GPS-UHF transmitters. Male goshawks used more space and travelled further from the nest than female goshawks. While I found no correlation between dietary diversity or specialization on pine squirrels and goshawk productivity, the abundance of this key prey species may affect goshawk productivity and space use.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Green, David
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