The effects of spring burning and grassland area on the abundance of Henslow’s sparrow Ammodramus henslowii and dickcissel Spiza americana at Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Melvern Wildlife Management Area, Kansas, USA

  • Published source details Applegate R.D., Flock B.E. & Horak G.J. (2002) Spring burning and grassland area: effects on Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) and dickcissel (Spiza americana) in Kansas, USA. Natural Areas Journal, 22, 160-162


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning on grasslands

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning on grasslands

    A randomised, controlled study in 1995-1997 in six tracts of tallgrass prairie in Melvern Wildlife Management Area, Kansas, USA (Applegate et al. 2002), found that Henslow’s sparrow were significantly less abundant in burned areas than in unburned tracts (1 bird/ha vs. 4); dickcissel abundance was similar in burned and unburned tracts (12 birds/ha). In spring 1995 four tracts were burned, in 1996 one was burned and in 1997 two were burned. In total, 22 Henslow’s sparrows (overall relative abundance 0.2 birds/ha) and 200 dickcissel (1.1 birds/ha) were recorded. Abundance was not correlated to tract perimeter length, or different distances to each other.


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