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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of cattle grazing on nesting success of grasshopper sparrows Ammodramus savannarum at Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, USA

Published source details

Sutter B. & Ritchison G. (2005) Effects of grazing on vegetation structure, prey availability, and reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows. Journal of Field Ornithology, 76, 345-351

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

Mow or cut natural grasslands Bird Conservation

At Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, USA  (Sutter & Ritchison 2005), a site comparison study in April-August 2002-2003 found that grasshopper sparrow nesting success was significantly higher in a 3,950 ha area mown in July-August compared to a 2,100 ha cattle-grazed area (70% of 34 nests in mown areas fledging at least one young vs. 25% of 12 in grazed; overall survival estimated at 46% vs. 9%). Average clutch size in the mown area (five eggs) was significantly larger than in grazed area (four eggs).


Employ grazing in natural grasslands Bird Conservation

A study in 2002-2003 in a grassland in Kentucky, USA (Sutter & Ritchison 2005) found that grasshopper sparrows had significantly lower nesting success on a grazed grassland, compared to a mown one (estimated 25% success on cattle-grazed area vs. 70% on mown area). This study is discussed in detail in ‘Mow or cut natural grasslands’.