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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Lester D. Flake


Timber harvest is the primary land management action altering wildlife habitat in ponderosa pine (Pi nus ponderosa) forests of the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Yet, the effects of timber harvest on avian communities in this region is poorly understood. The desired future condition of harvested stands of ponderosa pine is approximately 18 m2/ha basal area; basal area of unharvested stands (little or no evidence of timber harvest) is greater. I counted birds at 120 points dispersed in 20 harvested and 20 unharvested stands of ponderosa pine during May and June of 1993 and 1994 I tested hypotheses that abundance of individual bird species, species richness, species diversity, and species composition did not differ between harvested and unharvested ponderosa pine stands. My predetermined a was set at 0.10 because or variability in stand characteristics, and biological and management consequences of type II errors. Bird abundance differed for 9 of 29 species with sufficient data to analyze. Red-breasted nuthatch (Silla canadensis) (P = 0.03), ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) (P < 0.01), and Black-headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) (P = 0.10), were more abundant in unharvested ponderosa pine stands. Hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus) (P = 0. 03 ), western wood pewee (Contopus sordidulus) (P = 0.02), Townsend's solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) (P = 0.04), American robin (Turdus migratorius) (P < 0.01), chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina) (P < 0.01), and dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) (P < 0.01) were more abundant in harvested ponderosa pine stands. Species richness (P = 0.27) and species diversity (P = 0.12) did not differ between harvested and unharvested stands. Sharpshinned hawks (Accipiter striatus), Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii), northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), great-homed owls (Bubo virginianus), Swainson's thrushes (Catharus 11st11lat11s), and black-headed grosbeaks (Pheucticus melanocephalus) were detected only in unharvested stands. Red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), common nighthawks (Chordeiles minor), downy woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens), American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), yellow-breasted chats (Icteria virens), rufous-sided towhees (Pipilo e1ythrophthalm11s), and American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) were encountered only in harvested stands. Bird communities of ponderosa pine were altered by effects of timber harvest on vegetative structure. Resource managers should be especially concerned about exploitation of remaining unharvested stands because they make up only 12% of the Black Hills National Forest land base.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Birds--Effect of logging on--Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
Ponderosa pine--Harvesting--Environmental aspects--Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)


Includes bibliographical references (pages 33-37)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2014 Brian L. Dykstra. All rights reserved.