Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: First-year effects of herbicide control of big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata on Brewer's sparrow Spizella breweri and vesper sparrow Pooecetes gramineus, central Montana, USA

Published source details

Best L.B. (1972) First-year effects of sagebrush control on two sparrows. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 36, 534-544

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

Apply herbicide to mid- and understorey vegetation Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled before-and-after study in 1966-1969 in common sagebrush Artemisia tridentata shrublands in central Montana, USA (Best 1972), found that the number of breeding pairs of Brewer's sparrow Spizella breweri declined by 54% on plots completely sprayed with herbicide in 1968 (from 0.8 pairs/ha to 0.4). Vesper sparrows Pooecetes gramineus showed no response to herbicide, and neither species showed any changes on plots subject to strip spraying, partial spraying or on control plots. Plant foods (mostly grass seed) represented a greater portion, and invertebrate food a smaller portion, of both sparrow species diets on the sprayed than the unsprayed area.