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Tuesday, January 30 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: If We Build It THEY Will Come: Restored Prairies and Grassland Birds

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AUTHORS. Rob Keys, Michael Hindy, Travis Mangione - Cornerstone University

ABSTRACT. In the early 1800s tall grass prairie covered areas of the upper Midwest United States. Much of this was converted to agricultural purposes as the country grew. Over the last 35 years many projects have reestablished tall grass prairies in the region. For years we have believed the restoration of native prairies in regions where they once existed would lead to the restoration of the biodiversity of other organisms of the prairie, specifically grassland birds. Our research has monitored restored tail grass prairies of various sizes with paired grasslands of other types (former agricultural fields, fallow fields, mowed fields) to determine the extent to which this is viable conclusion. Results indicate areas of prairie restoration have the lowest obligate grassland bird biodiversity and birds/point (B/P) (H’ = 0.068; B/P = 0.50) when compared to mowed mixed grasslands (H’ = 1.44; B/P = 4.02) and Conservation Reserve Program (wildlife) grasslands (H’ = 0.474; B/P = 2.60) and in many cases are devoid of obligate grassland birds of any type after 10+ years of management. We believe a new paradigm of management is called for to restructure these restored prairie grasslands to meet the needs of birds who have adapted over the last 150 years to a non-prairie structure.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm CST