A Validity Test of a Habitat Suitability Index Model for Clapper Rail

A method of habitat assessment known as Habitat Evaluation Procedures has been developed by the U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. A linear relationship is assumed to exist between an area's Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) and carrying capacity. The objective of this study was to determine whether an HSI model for clapper rail (Rallus longirostris) is valid for predicting habitat suitability for this species in Georgia. Call-count surveys were conducted for clapper rail on 12 40-ha areas of tidal salt marsh during the winter and the spring of 1982-1983. Call counts and HSI values were not strongly related during wintering or nesting seasons based on correlation analyses. Several possible interpretations of study results are discussed.

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