Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. David S. Lemberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Rolland Fraser

Third Advisor

Dr. Chensheng He

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Effective conservation planning of breeding birds requires knowledge of responses to landscape change and pattern. This study analyzed associations between land cover type and change among three ecological groups, forest birds, shrubland birds, and grassland birds using Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Land cover maps for the years 1974 and 1996 were produced to assess land cover changes for BBS data from the period 1970-1996. The Pearson coefficient of correlation was used to correlate land cover type percent within BBS radii and the total birds of a bird group observed within each radius. Conclusions of the impact of land cover change and breeding birds were made based on how preferred habitats for bird groups changed, and on their subsequent change in correlation.

Forest bird populations increased primarily from an increase in forest area due to regeneration on abandoned farmland. Shrubland birds decreased slightly due to an increase in shrubland fragmentation. Grassland birds decreased sharply due to a decrease in agriculturally associated grasslands and probable detrimental farming methods.

Included in

Geography Commons