Effects of prescribed fire on vegetation and passerine birds in northern mixed-grass prairie

  • Published source details Grant T.A., Madden E.M., Shaffer T.L. & Dockens J.S. (2010) Effects of prescribed fire on vegetation and passerine birds in northern mixed-grass prairie. Journal of Wildlife Management, 74, 1841-1851.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning on grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning on grasslands

    A replicated study in prairie in May-June 1998-2003 at J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota, USA (Grant et al. 2010), found that prescribed burning in seven 41-69 ha blocks (each burned in one year of the study) initially reduced densities of some grassland passerines but that total numbers soon increased. Twenty-two grassland bird species were recorded. Species richness and number of pairs was lowest in the first post-burn breeding season, increasing in the second and stabilizing up to 4-years post-burn. Fire significantly affected five of eight species analysed: numbers of pairs of sedge wren, clay-colored sparrow Spizella pallida, Le Conte's sparrow Ammodramus leconteii, savannah sparrow and bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus were lowest in the year following burning but then generally increased and stabilized within three years.


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