Baird's sparrow. Photo by Scott Somershoe

Priority Grassland Bird Full-Annual Cycle Conservation Plan

Grassland bird populations have shown the most widespread and significant declines of any avifaunal group in North America. The Prairie Pothole Region supports the core breeding populations for four of the most rapidly declining species, specifically Sprague’s pipit (Anthus spragueii), chestnut-collared (Calcarius ornatus) and McCown’s longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), and Baird’s sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii). These four species have shown the steepest annual declines and have experienced the most significant overall population declines of the suite of grassland birds of conservation concern.

Through the leadership of the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture (PPJV), the Grassland Bird Technical Subcommittee is leading the development of a tri-national grassland bird conservation plan to address conservation needs throughout the full-annual cycle for these species. The Grassland Bird Technical Subcommittee consists of actively involved partners from approximately 20 federal and state agencies, NGO’s, and Joint Ventures including breeding areas in the Prairie Pothole region of the United States and Canada through wintering sites in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

The grassland bird conservation plan will identify and prioritize inventory and monitoring, research, habitat conservation, management, and conservation planning needs to bring to the forefront the issues and questions needed to identify population limiting factors and focus conservation actions on the ground. The technical subcommittee is developing this plan to provide guidance to land managers, researchers, biologists, funding organization, and policy/decision makers in order facilitate conservation planning and delivery. The conservation strategy is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

For more information, contact Scott Somershoe.

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