You are working for an international bird conservation organization that is considering purchase of one of four parcels of land in the Central American country of
Belize. You will use field data concerning bird species occurrence and abundance, as well as descriptions of plant communities found at each site to make a
recommendation to the organization as to which of these land parcels to acquire. Field data will be provided for each of the four parcels at two different scales:
1. Local, meaning the specific parcels being considered for purchase. Each specific parcel being considered is defined by a particular land parcel boundary.
2. Regional, meaning the broader area surrounding each specific parcel being considered for acquisition (15-mile-diameter circles centered at Belmopan
(17.146 °N, 88.729 °W), Cockscomb Basin (16.797 °N, 88.379 °W), Gallon Jug (17.561 °N, 89.044 °W), and Punta Gorda (16.165 °N, 88.883 °W)
Since all students in this class may not be able to physically engage in actual field research for a variety of reasons, in this project you will be given field data and
GIS-analyzed remote sensing information that is similar to what might actually be collected during weeks of real field work and subsequent analysis. Methods
used to obtain this data will be briefly described in this document; your final paper should describe these methods and present results as though you had
actually been responsible for collecting and analyzing the data. Your final project should follow the format of a standard scientific paper (Introduction, Methods,
Results, Discussion, Literature Cited).
Because of the priorities of the organization you are working for, your analysis will emphasize birds, but it should also include reference to major vegetation
communities that may reasonably be expected to influence bird distribution and abundance. The primary information you will be given to work with includes:
1. Species diversity indices based on single-day bird surveys conducted by teams of observers within 15-mile-diameter circles that include the four sites
being considered for conservationpurchase
2. Graphical analyses summarizing the major vegetation communities present within each of the 15-mile-diameter circles
3. Graphical analyses summarizing the major vegetation communities present within each of the actual parcels being considered for acquisition
4. Bird survey data collected using the rapid assessment MacKinnon approach (see O’Dea et al. 2004) from each of the specific parcels being considered for
acquisition. In other words, your data sets will reflect information collected at two different scales—one regional (the 15-mile diameter circles) and one
local (the specific parcels).
• Include an Introduction section.
• Include a Methods section based on information provided in diversity_indices.pdf and veg_analyses.pdf.
• Create species detection line graphs for each study region based on MacKinnon data from bird_data.xls.
• Incorporate results provided in diversity_indices.pdf, veg_analyses.pdf, and the graph produced in Milestone Two into a brief (three-page
maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font) Results section.
• Prepare a brief Discussion section that reviews the findings mentioned in Results and explains your recommendation as to which property would be
best to acquire for conservation purposes.
• Prepare a Literature Cited section that includes all references that you have mentioned in your Introduction, Methods, and Discussion sections
following the style requirements of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
This paper is to be written about a study that has already been conducted. I will provide the scientific paper containing the information to be documented labeled ad “Provided Study”.
I will also provide any instructional documents and documents containing required information for the paper.
You are working for an international bird conservation organization that is considering purchase of one of four parcels of land in the Central American country of Belize.
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