Abstract: This paper speculates about the relationship between the Vermivora bachmanii Audubon (Bachman’s Warbler) and canebrakes, an ecosystem partly created and maintained by human disturbance. This paper argues that because the Bachman’s Warbler was a canebrake specialist, the decline of human disturbance, which maintained this ecosystem, ultimately set in motion the decline and possible extinction of the Warbler. Thus, the Bachman’s Warbler was a cultural ecological-dependent species. It may at first seem strange to describe a bird species as dependent on cultural ecological practices (mainly burning for agriculture in this case), but the Bachman’s Warbler was indeed dependent on the ecosystem—canebrakes—that Native American land use practices produced and maintained. As the cultural ecological practices or agency that helped create and maintain canebrakes declined, so too did the Bachman’s Warbler.
Southeastern Geographer – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jul 11, 2010