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Monday, April 9 • 10:45am - 11:00am
SYMPOSIA-01: Defining Neighborhoods to Optimize the Effectiveness of Landscape-Scale Grassland Bird Conservation

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AUTHORS: Christine A. Ribic*, U.S. Geological Survey; Michael R. Guttery, Alaska Department of Fish and Game; David Sample, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Chris Trosen, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Andy Paulios, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Real estate agents have long recognized that home values are dependent upon characteristics of a property as well as the neighborhood in which the property is located. In recent years, ecologists have realized that grassland birds may assess habitat value in a similar way. While much is known about the specific patch-level habitat requirements for most grassland bird species, far less is known about how birds respond to landscape composition, and particularly, the scales at which various species respond to different aspects of the landscape surrounding a patch. Using grassland bird point count data collected in Wisconsin from 2012-2014, we evaluated scale-specific effects of landscape composition (idle grass, pasture, cropland, hay, forest) on patch occupancy to a radius of 3000m from the patch perimeter. Bobolink selected for grassland habitats in the surrounding landscape at all spatial scales while selecting against other cropland and forest. Eastern Meadowlark displayed evidence of scale sensitivity for all habitat types. Grasshopper Sparrow showed a strong positive response to pasture and idle grass at all scales and negatively to cropland at large scales. Unlike other species, patch occupancy by Henslow’s Sparrow was primarily influenced by patch area. Our findings provide important insights into effective landscape conservation planning for grassland birds.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:45am - 11:00am CDT
Hancock Parlor