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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of prescribed burns and bison Bos bison grazing on abundance of breeding birds in tall-grass prairie at Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA

Published source details

Powell A.F.L.A. (2006) Effects of prescribed burns and bison (Bos bison) grazing on breeding bird abundances in tallgrass prairie. The Auk, 123, 183-197


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Employ grazing in natural grasslands Bird Conservation

A replicated study using 23 years of data (up to 2003) from a tallgrass prairie in Kansas, USA (Powell 2006), found that three of seven species showed a significant response to grazing by American bison Bos bison: upland sandpipers and grasshopper sparrows were consistently more abundant on grazed sites, whilst Henslow's sparrows were almost absent. Dickcissel, eastern meadowlark, Bell's vireo Vireo bellii (a shrub-dependent species) and brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater showed no significant response.

 

Use prescribed burning on grasslands Bird Conservation

A replicated study in tallgrass prairie in Kansas, USA (Powell 2006), found that six of seven birds surveyed showed a significant response to burning: Henslow's sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, dickcissel, eastern meadowlark (grassland species) and Bell's vireo Vireo bellii (a shrub-dependent species) were least abundant in the breeding season following a burn (with Bell's vireo being absent from sites burned annually); upland sandpipers Bartramia longicauda were most abundant in the season following a burn. Brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater did not show any significant response.