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Managing Habitat for Grassland Birds
A Guide for Wisconsin


APPENDIX G.  Statewide ranking and descriptions of priority landscapes for grassland bird management, from highest management priority (1) to lowest (26).
Rank Map Location Priority Landscape Natural Divisiona Typec Size (acres)b Dominant Habitat Types Notes
SW SE CP LM NH Currentd Potentiale

1 A Thomson Prairie Grasslands GIF-Star         LM 260 25,000 Existing prairie remnants (mostly dry-mesic prairie) and unplowed prairie pastures, upland brush, extensive surrogate grasslands (hay, pasture, savanna pasture, CRP) in a relatively treeless landscape. Favorable agricultural landscape with little row-cropping. High potential for surrogate grassland expansion, especially through increasing CRP acreage, buffering prairie remnants, and prairie pasture management. Threats from increasing development.

2 T Crex Meadows/Fish Lake Complex         GIF-Star LC 23,000 76,000 Open, diverse, brush prairie, and conifer barrens, northern sedge meadow and sedge marsh, open bog. Very large open landscapes. Potential for barrens restoration (both on DNR WAs and on extensive county forest land) and some potential for development of surrogate grasslands between the two WAs. Also, potential for expansion south to the Sterling Barrens area on the St. Croix River.

3 H Muralt/Monroe Grasslands   GIF-Star       LM 1,100 27,000 Remnant dry and dry-mesic prairie, unplowed pasture sod, large acreages of surrogate grasslands (pastures, savanna pastures, hay, old fields, CRP), southern sedge meadow. Potential for expansion of the few remaining remnants through buffering. Currently has large blocks and expanses of surrogate grasslands (e.g., CRP and pasture).

4 P Buena Vista/Leola Grasslands     GIF-Star     LC 13,000 60,000 Some remnant prairie; surrogate grasslands (e.g., idle cool-season and warm-season idle grasses and forbs, pasture, oldfields)—including some large blocks. Threats from increasing irrigated agriculture and cranberry bogs. Potential for expansion of surrogate grassland blocks, and connection of Leola Marsh WA to Buena Vista Grasslands.

5 I White River Marsh Complex   GIF-Star GIF-Star     L 4,000 64,000 Southern (mostly) and northern sedge meadow, wet-mesic prairie, shrub swamp, surrogate grasslands, oak savanna, southern sedge marsh. Some large open landscapes, some areas fairly wooded. Potential for connecting blocks of open grasslands. Need to coordinate with management of barrens for Karner Blue butterflies and some forest values.

6 E Star Prairie Pothole Grasslands GIF-Star         L 2,200 134,000 Surrogate grasslands—some in large blocks—(CRP, WPAs, hay, pasture, old fields), prairie pothole marshes, savanna, upland shrub. Small potential for restoration of prairie pasture and savanna pasture restoration and for restoration of prairie pothole/upland systems; also potential for expansion of surrogate grasslands such as WPAs. Faces threats from development.

7 U Namekagon/Douglas County Barrens         GIF-Star L 9,700 65,000 Open, diverse, and brush prairie barrens; cut- or burned-over forest. High potential for expansion of already large barrens through restoration, including on county forest lands. Placement of large clearcuts adjacent to barrens can expand open barrens habitat.

8 C Yellowstone/Pecatonica River Grasslands and Savannas GIF-Star         L 1,800 200,000 Surrogate grasslands (large open pastures and savanna pastures—some unplowed, CRP, old field), oak savanna, upland shrub, southern sedge meadow. Minor prairie restoration potential; better potential for savanna management and surrogate grassland expansion (e.g., pastures and CRP). Potential for some large blocks, Priority area for surveys.

9 B Fort McCoy Barrens GIF-Star         L 8,800 12,000 Sand prairie, oak or river barrens, oak savanna; some surrogate grassland. Some high quality sand prairie is in large blocks. Good potential for restoration and expansion of open barrens habitats. Impacts of military activity need to be assessed.

10 D Lower Wisconsin River Prairies and Barrens GIF-Star         MC 2,000 5,000 Dry or sand prairie, oak or river barrens, wet or wet-mesic prairie (includes barrens, prairie, and savanna sites north of Mazomanie), southern sedge meadow, some surrogate grassland. Some potential for surrogate grasslands, barrens, and sand prairie expansion or restoration. Main need is for connection of sites along river corridor (including bluffs and river barrens).

11 W Moquah Barrens         GIF-Star L 8,000 11,000 Open, diverse, and brush prairie barrens; cut-over forest. Essentially one large block. Potential for additional barrens restoration, including expansion into adjacent forest lands.

12 V (1,2) North Central Prairie Chicken Grasslands         GIF-Star LM 500 72,000 Surrogate grasslands (hay, small grains, pasture, old field), northern and southern sedge meadow. These former forested regions depend on suitable agricultural practices for grassland bird habitat (e.g., late-cut grass hay). Potential for surrogate grassland expansion (e.g., through CRP).

13 Y Spread Eagle Barrens         GIF-Star MC 4,000 8,800 Open, diverse, and brush prairie barrens habitats: cut- or burned-over forest. Potential for expansion and restoration of barrens habitats.

14 Q Necedah Barrens     GIF-Star     MC 3,500 7,000 Barrens (mainly diverse and brush prairie), southern (mostly) and northern sedge meadow, some surrogate grassland. Management for more open barrens will benefit grassland birds; needs to be coordinated with management for Karner Blue butterfly. Potential for barrens restoration and expansion of barrens habitat outside of refuge boundary.

15 L Bong Recreation Area   GIF-Star       MC 3,500 4,500 Surrogate grasslands, prairie pothole marsh. Most significant grassland landscape in the far southeast. Emphasize importance of management for open grasslands; potential for expansion limited.

16 K Columbia/Dane County Prairie Wetlands   GIF-Star       LM 1,400 58,000 Southern sedge meadow, dry-mesic prairie remnants, prairie pothole marsh, southern sedge marsh, surrogate grasslands (WPAs, hay, pasture, old fields). A diverse landscape, facing threats from development. Small potential for savanna restoration; expansion of prairie remnants possible through buffering; expansion of surrogate grasslands. Most sites isolated by farmland and need buffering (e.g., prairie pastures).

17 F Lower Chippewa River Savannas and Prairies GIF-Star         M 800 5,000 Dry or sand prairie, oak or river barrens. High potential for barrens expansion (on islands) and some surrogate grassland expansion.

18 J Southern Kettle Moraine Complex   GIF-Star       LM 3,000 16,000 Savanna, upland brush, dry-mesic and wet-mesic prairie, southern sedge meadow, surrogate grasslands. Also important blocks of southern forest. A highly diverse landscape. Grassland habitat is contained mainly in the Scuppernong valley and Young Prairie area. High potential for savanna expansion (e.g., Blue Spring area). Need to coordinate planning and management for grasslands, savannas, wetlands, and closed forest.

19 M Rush Lake Grasslands and Sedge Meadows   GIF-Star     LM 700 24,000 Southern sedge meadow, prairie pothole marsh, surrogate grasslands (hay, pasture, idle grassland), oak savanna. Important example of prairie marsh/upland system. Potential for sedge meadow and surrogate grassland expansion.

20 X Mead/Paul J. Olsen Grasslands         GIF-Star L 4,900 110,000 Northern sedge meadow, surrogate grasslands, open bog. Potential for surrogate grassland expansion and connection between the two WAs. Need to control woody vegetation.

21 R Bear Bluff Wetlands     GIF-Star     L 4,500 83,000 Northern and southern sedge meadows and marshes, diverse and brush prairie barrens, open bog. Small potential for oak-dominated barrens and savanna restoration. Potential to manage large county-owned sedge meadows. Threats from cranberry bog expansion. Potential for expansion of this landscape into Wood County WA to the east.

22 N Brillion/Killsnake Grasslands   GIF-Star       LM 3,400 33,000 Surrogate grasslands, southern sedge meadow. Potential for further prairie restoration and surrogate grassland expansion, including between the two WAs.

23 O Pine Island Area Grasslands   GIF-Star       MC 2,200 5,000 Surrogate grasslands, upland shrub, dry or sand prairie remnants, southern sedge meadow. Minor restoration potential for sand prairie, savanna, and river barrens. Expand grassland habitat where possible.

24 S Green Bay West Shore Sedge Meadows       GIF-Star   MC 3,340 5,000 Northern and southern sedge meadow, shrub swamp, surrogate grasslands. Some potential for management of surrogate grasslands in uplands near sedge meadows.

25 Z Black Lake/Belden Swamp         GIF-Star MC 1,500 3,500 Open bog, northern sedge meadow, shrub swamp. Two open landscapes: not possible to connect, but minor potential for expansion. Coordinate management at Black Lake with contiguous acreage in Minnesota (roughly 1,000 additional acres).

26 G Rush Creek/Battle Bluff Goat Prairies and Savannas GIF-Star         M 230 1,000 Dry prairie, oak savanna (~500 acre restoration project), and dry oldfield. Best example in WI of bluff prairie/river system. Possibility of connecting and expanding bluff prairie remnants, and limited potential for grassland expansion. Overall potential for birds is limited. Need to combine with oak woodland values in planning efforts.

a SW = Southwestern Upland,
  SE = Southeastern Ridges and Lowlands,
  CP = Central Plains,
  LM = Lake Michigan Shoreland,
  NH = Horthern Highland/Lake Superior Lowland.
b Landscape sizes are rough estimates.
c L = large-scale,
  M = medium-scale,
  LC or MC = landscape currently has sufficient permanent
  grassland (to meet goal),
  LM = potential large-scale landscapes that can also be
  developed and managed as medium-scale landscapes.
d Permanent grassland acreage.
e Based on largest possible landscape boundaries as shown in Figure 8; total amount of actual grassland habitat area may be smaller depending on circumstances in each specific landscape, such as presence and distribution of unsuitable habitat.

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