Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Faunal Changes and Bottomland Hardwood Forest Loss in the Tensas Watershed, Louisiana


We attempted to associate differences in faunal populations in the Tensas watershed with differences in bottomland hardwood forest area using existing data sets. The Tensas watershed was part of the original range of several species that are now absent red wolf, Florida panther, and Ivory-Billed Woodpecker The Louisiana black bear and Bachman's Warbler are also threatened with extinction. Bird surveys provided the best faunal data, and comparisons of bird populations (1) with decreases in bottomland hardwood forest over time and (2) in areas with different amounts of forest support the hypotheses that the number of forest species and the population densities of forest interior species decreased with cumulative losses of forest area We have shown the deterioration of indigenous faunal populations using existing bird surveys and qualitative data, demonstrating the utility of a cumulative impact approach at the watershed scale. By insuring the conservation of required habitats, a cumulative impact management plan would reduce further extinctions within this watershed.


Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, Natural Resources and the Environment

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Conservation Biology



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