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Monday, April 9 • 11:15am - 11:30am
SYMPOSIA-01: Analyzing Land Management Regimes to Inform Grassland Bird Conservation in the Chicago Wilderness Region

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AUTHORS: Daniel Suarez*, Audubon Great Lakes; Stephanie Beilke, Audubon Great Lakes,

ABSTRACT: Prairies once dominated Illinois landscapes, but are now on the brink of extinction in the state largely because of agricultural conversion. Nevertheless, scattered grassland habitat patches and corresponding bird populations have persisted throughout Illinois, including within the highly urbanized Chicago region. However, as these grassland patches are often isolated and have varied land ownership, land management activities also tend to occur in relative isolation. Audubon Great Lakes convened the Chicago Wilderness Grassland Bird Task Force to engage Chicago region partners and strategize grassland bird conservation at a regional level. The Task Force identified a need to synthesize grassland bird data and habitat management data across the seven-county region to begin to assess the state of Chicago Wilderness grasslands and inform best management practices and future monitoring. Task Force members, including Audubon Great Lakes, Illinois Audubon Society and the Bird Conservation Network, initiated data gathering in coordination with county land managers for the purpose of associating grassland bird presence/absence with specific habitat management activities. The results of our analysis were then documented in our annual collaborative “State of the Grasslands” report, which we shared broadly with landowners and stakeholders, thus introducing managers to the practices and results of neighboring counties. Annual reports and meetings will continue to provide opportunities for Task Force members to provide and receive feedback regarding land management and monitoring practices, while reinforcing our ultimate shared goal of improving grassland habitats and bird populations in the Chicago Wilderness.

Monday April 9, 2018 11:15am - 11:30am CDT
Hancock Parlor

Attendees (6)