Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Doug Fuller - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Rinku Roy Chowdhury - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Mathew Potts - Committee Member


Much conservation work focuses on individual species, partly because of the perception that wildlife species are effective symbols for raising funds and drawing awareness to environmental causes. However, for species-based studies to aid conservation efforts, the biological and ecological needs of species need to be addressed in a way that informs decisions and provides concrete recommendations for land managers. This thesis addresses the forest cover needs of Ciconia stormi, a rare and understudied bird species that inhabits the islands of Borneo and Sumatra and parts of peninsular Malaysia. Levels of forest canopy cover associated with areas inhabited by Ciconia stormi are identified at multiple spatial resolutions using a 500m MODIS soft classification product, 30m Landsat data, and hemispherical photographs. Important threshold values of 75 percent tree cover was identified at the regional scale, and 85 percent at foraging sites. There has been severe forest disturbance in regions inhabited by Ciconia stormi between 1993 and 2004, indicating the species may be somewhat tolerant to disturbance. Areas having been logged at least 20 years before present average over 85 percent canopy cover and have few large gaps, indicating that these forests may be suitable habitat for the species.


Hemispherical Photographs; Forest Cover; Biogeography; Borneo; Indonesia; Remote Sensing