Habitat and avifaunal recovery from livestock grazing in a riparian meadow system of the northwestern Great Basin

  • Published source details Dobkin D.S., Rich A.C. & Pyle W.H. (1998) Habitat and avifaunal recovery from livestock grazing in a riparian meadow system of the northwestern Great Basin. Conservation Biology, 12, 209-221.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Exclude grazers from semi-natural habitats

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Exclude grazers from semi-natural habitats

    A replicated, controlled study in 1991-1994 in semi-arid riparian habitats in Oregon, USA (Dobkin et al. 1998), found that bird species richness and relative abundance were significantly higher on three ungrazed 1.5 ha plots, compared to three grazed 1.5 ha plots (approximately 10-12 species/plot for ungrazed plots vs. 7-10 species/plot for grazed plots). In addition, ten species associated with riparian and wetlands habitats were found only on exclosure plots, and five species associated with uplands habitats only on open plots. Ungrazed plots had not been grazed for 30 years, whilst grazed plots were grazed until 1990. In the final year of study, four years after grazing had been stopped, key wet-meadow species (sora Prozana carolina, Wilson’s phalarope Phalaropus tricolor, green-winged teal Anas crecca, and gadwall A. strepera) were found on open plots. Throughout the study, sedge cover, forb cover and foliage height diversity of herbs were greater within the exclosure; bare ground, litter cover, shrub cover and shrub foliage height diversity were greater on open plots.


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