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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of prescribed fire on passerine birds in northern mixed-grass prairie in J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota, USA

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 intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use prescribed burning on grasslands Bird Conservation

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.