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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of cattle grazing on duck and songbird nesting success in mixed-grass prairie fields in southern Alberta, Canada

Published source details

Koper N. & Schmiegelow F.K.A. (2007) Does management for duck productivity affect songbird nesting success? The Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 2249-2257


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 in 2000-2002 on 34 fields of dry, native, prairie in southern Alberta, Canada (Koper & Schmiegelow 2007), found that grazing only affected six of 31 bird species investigated. Only soras Porzana carolina were more abundant in late-grazed fields than ungrazed fields, only marsh wrens Cistothorus palustris were more abundant in early-grazed fields compared to late-grazed and only lesser scaup Aythya affinis were more abundant in late-grazed fields than in those grazed early in the season.

 

Employ grazing in natural grasslands Bird Conservation

A replicated study in 2000-2002 in 32 mixed-grass prairie fields in southern Alberta, Canada (Koper & Schmiegelow 2007), found that duck nesting success was influenced by grazing and vegetation structure (with higher nesting success in taller vegetation). Duck success was 43% lower in ungrazed fields compared with those grazed from July and northern shovellers Anas clypeata had 64% lower success in early-grazed fields, compared with those grazed from July. However, nesting success of all but one songbird species was not influenced by these factors. The authors conclude that managing for ducks using grazing and other interventions is unlikely to provide habitat for songbirds.