Declining Grassland Birds of Northeastern Montana
Grassland bird populations have been declining in recent decades for a variety of reasons, many relating to habitat loss, fragmentation, or alteration. Remaining tracts of prairie grassland vegetation are increasingly valuable for native bird species, and proper grassland management is increasingly important in maintaining viable populations of grassland birds. Understanding how grassland birds respond to different grazing practices on a regional landscape will contribute to their conservation.
The Natural Heritage Program of NRIS is working on a project to determine breeding-season grassland bird response to prevalent grazing practices and grazing allotment size in northeastern Montana. This project will:
· Form the basis for developing detailed studies of bird responses to variants of specific grazing practices near the Glasgow-Malta BLM field offices area;
· Provide results that can be used to develop predictive models of grassland bird distribution to benefiting native grassland birds more broadly in the Northern Great Plains region; and
· Provide a network of permanent point count sampling stations and three years of baseline trend data for monitoring and analyzing trends of grassland birds.
This presentation will focus on some initial results of the project, including factors important to grassland bird populations in northern Valley County, as well as throughout the breeding range of these birds.
Efforts to coordinate with other American researchers, as well as those in Canada, with the goal of facilitating international grassland bird conservation will also be discussed.
This seminar is scheduled for 3:00pm - 4:00 pm in the conference room of the State Library, 1515 East Sixth Avenue, Helena.