- Spruce, Joseph P.
The Graduate School, University of Maine
The Neotropics include several natural and human-maintained habitats used by overwintering migrant landbirds. The recent decline of many forest-dwelling avian migrants is believed to be related in part to neotropical deforestation and land use change. However, spatio-temporal trends in neotropical habitat availability and avian migrant use are generally not known. Such information is needed to assess the impact of neotropical habitat change on migrant landbirds. Previous studies indicate that Landsat TM data may be useful for mapping broadly defined neotropical habitats but map accuracy assessments have been limited to one study area in Costa Rica.
For the most detailed revised satellite map, overall locational agreement ranged from 52% (5 habitat classes) for the Toledo to 63% (9 classes) for the Stann Creek. For the least detailed revised satellite map, overall locational accuracy ranged from 91% (2 classes) for Toledo to 86% (5 classes) for Stann Creek. Considering results from both locational and non-site-specific accuracy assessment, the most detailed yet sufficiently accurate classification for both study sites included low/medium/tall broadleaf forest, broadleaf forest scrub and herb-dominated opening. For these classifications, the overall locational agreement was 72% for Toledo (4 classes) and 75% for Stann Creek (7 classes). This level of classification accuracy and precision is adequate for aiding many analyses of migrant landbird habitat use. This is good news for ornithologists assessing migrant landbird habitat use in moist and wet life zones of the Neotropics.