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Relationship of Obligate, Grassland Birds to Landscape Structure in Wisconsin

Murray, L. D., Ribic, C. A., and Thogmartin, W. E., 2008, Relationship of Obligate, Grassland Birds to Landscape Structure in Wisconsin: Journal of Wildlife Management, v. 72, no. 2, p. 463-467.


Conservation plans for grassland birds have included recommendations at the landscape level, but species' responses to landscape structure are variable. We studied the relationships between grassland bird abundances and landscape structure in 800-ha landscapes in Wisconsin, USA, using roadside surveys. Of 9 species considered, abundances of only 4 species differed among landscapes with varying amounts of grassland and forest. Landscape variables explained <20% of variation in abundances for 4 of the 5 rarest species in our study. Our results suggest landscape-based management plans for grassland birds might not benefit the rarest species and, thus, plans should incorporate species-specific habitat preferences for these species.

Keywords: Abundance, Bird, Composition, Conservation, Grassland, Habitat, Landscape, Wisconsin, Habitat Fragmentation, United-States, Area, Success, Models

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