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As humans continue to change the environment and affect different species on the planet, it is important to understand the affect these changes have. Land cover is constantly changing due to increased urbanization and increased use of agriculture, and this has a direct effect on the environment. A good model to observe how changing land cover affects species is changing wintering grounds. This study focused on the Eastern Whip-poor-will (Antrostomus vociferus), and how land cover influenced their selection of wintering grounds. To do this, GPS tags were affixed onto Eastern Whip-poor-wills before migration season and data from the tags were collected after they returned from wintering. For the eight birds recovered, the team created winter territories using Kernel Density Estimation and Minimum Convex Polygons and classified the types of land cover that fell within the territories. Land cover within 2 km and 5 km perimeters around the wintering ranges were also categorized. It was found that both the 2 km and 5 km radii were made up of around 30% agriculture and 55% forest. This information can be used to understand why Eastern Whip-poor-wills choose their specific wintering ranges and how changing land cover can affect this.
- This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
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