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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of grassland management on songbirds in Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Illinois, USA

Published source details

Walk J.W. & Warner R.E. (2000) Grassland management for the conservation of songbirds in the Midwestern USA. Biological Conservation, 94, 165-172


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

A replicated, controlled trial in May-June 1995-1996 in grasslands in Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Illinois, USA (Walk & Warner 2000), found that native grasslands mown between late July and October held higher average densities of five songbird species than unmanaged native and non-native grasslands and mowed, hayed and burned non-native grasslands.  Mowed and hayed non-native grasslands held lower average densities than unmanaged or grazed grasslands but higher densities than burned non-native grasslands. However, species showed individual responses to different managements. The species surveyed were eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna, dickcissel Spiza americana, Henslow’s sparrow Ammodramus henslowii, field sparrow Spizella pusilla and grasshopper sparrow A. savannarum. This study is discussed further in ‘Use prescribed burning’ and ‘Graze grasslands’.

 

Employ grazing in natural grasslands Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in May-June 1995-1996 in grasslands in Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Illinois, USA (Walk & Warner 2000), found that both native and non-native grasslands held higher average densities of five songbird species when under light, late-season grazing than when mown, ‘hayed’, unmanaged or burned (non-native grasslands only). However, species showed individual responses to different managements. The species surveyed were eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna and dickcissel Spiza americana, Henslow’s sparrow Ammodramus henslowii, field sparrow Spizella pusilla and grasshopper sparrow.

 

Use prescribed burning on grasslands Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in May-June 1995-1996 in grasslands in Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, Illinois, USA (Walk & Warner 2000), found that burned, non-native ‘cool season’ grassland plots held lower average densities of five grasslands birds than native ‘warm season’ grasslands under any management (burning, grazing, mowing or no management) and non-native grassland under mowing, haying, grazing or no management. However, species showed individual responses to different managements. The species surveyed were eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna and dickcissel Spiza americana, Henslow’s sparrow Ammodramus henslowii, field sparrow Spizella pusilla and grasshopper sparrow.