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Breeding-bird censuses conducted in 1994-1996 at the Santa Ana National Wildlife, southern Texas were compared to those done on the same site in 1973-1978. The study site was described as subtropical evergreen forest in the 1970s, but is now thorn-forest with remnant evergreen forest. Canopy cover was incomplete and lower and trees were smaller and more densely packed in 1994-1996 than in 1973-1978. Seven bird species typical of thorn-forest and thorn-scrub, which were not present in 1973-1978, made up 20% of the breeding bird community in 1994-1996. Species tolerant of thorn-forest and thorn-scrub made up 76.0% of the breeding bird community in 1994-1996, compared to 54.6% in 1973-1978. Three forest bird species disappeared from the study site. Water management will be needed if subtropical evergreen forest and its bird community are to be restored.


COPYRIGHT 1998 Texas Academy of Science

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Texas Journal of Science



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