Date of Award

Winter 12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Jeffery L. Larkin

Second Advisor

Josiah H. Townsend

Third Advisor

Joseph E. Duchamp

Abstract

Ecological knowledge of biodiversity is the foundation to a successful application of conservation strategies and opportunities in ecosystems that sustain human livelihood. The Tropical Dry Forest of the Agalta Valley provides a setting for cattle farming and sustains the communities with ecosystem services (e.g. provision of tree species used for domestic purposes), while sustaining unique biodiversity such as the endemic Honduran Emerald hummingbird. My study elucidated ecological attributes of the species population in Agalta Valley in 35 dry forest remnants surveyed during 2014-2015. Honduran Emeralds used Tropical Dry Forest remnants year-round and its abundance was most affected by shrub density and cacti structural diversity. The results of my study indicated that the core of the Agalta Valley, encompassed by ca. 900 ha, possesses the most suitable areas for the species distribution. My findings contribute to the ecological knowledge of the species and inform conservation partners on priority actions.

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