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dc.contributor.authorBooms, Travis L.
dc.date.accessioned2018-08-07T00:59:17Z
dc.date.available2018-08-07T00:59:17Z
dc.date.issued2010
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11122/9045
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation addresses specific research needs identified by a panel of experts on Gyrfalcon biology and conservation convened on 3 September, 2003 at the Raptor Research Foundation Scientific Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. The first chapter is a significant update and revision of the 1994 Gyrfalcon Birds of North America (BNA) species account, using all published papers and available grey literature from 1994--2007 and personal expertise from over 3,000 hours of coordinated observations. The second chapter reports results from a spatially explicit model, based on the best available compiled data from Alaska, that predicted Gyrfalcon breeding distribution and population size across Alaska. The model predicted that 75% and 7% of the state had a relative index of nest occurrence of <20% and >60%, respectively. Areas of high predicted occurrence primarily occurred in northern and western Alaska. Using environmental variables, the model estimated the size of the breeding Gyrfalcon population in Alaska is 546 +/- 180 pairs. In Chapter 3, I used repeated aerial surveys to estimate detection probabilities of cliff-nesting raptors from fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters. Detection probabilities ranged from 0.79--0.10 and varied by species, observer experience, and study area/aircraft type. Generally, Gyrfalcons had the highest detection probability, followed by Golden Eagles, Common Ravens, and Rough-legged Hawks, though the exact pattern varied by study area and survey platform. In the final chapter, I described for the first time in North America Gyrfalcon nest site fidelity, breeding dispersal, and natal dispersal using molted feathers as non-invasive genetic tags. Gyrfalcons were highly faithful to study areas (100% fidelity) and breeding territories (98% fidelity), but not to specific nest sites (22% fidelity). Breeding dispersal distance averaged 750 +/- 870 m, and was similar between sexes. Natal dispersal of three nestlings representing 2.5% recruitment varied from 0--254 km. Mean territory tenure was 2.8 +/- 1.4 yrs and displayed a bimodal distribution with peaks at 1 and 4 years. Mean annual turnover at one study site was 20%. Gyrfalcons in one study area exhibited low, but significant population differentiation from the other two study areas.
dc.subjectZoology
dc.subjectEcology
dc.titleGyrfalcon Breeding Biology In Alaska
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.degreephd
dc.identifier.departmentDepartment of Biology and Wildlife
dc.contributor.chairHuettmann, Falk
dc.contributor.chairMcCracken, Kevin
refterms.dateFOA2020-03-05T16:28:53Z


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