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Managing Habitat for Grassland Birds
A Guide for Wisconsin

Purpose and Use of This Guide


Graphic: Flower of Prairie dock

This publication is designed to help managers plan and implement habitat management for grassland birds in Wisconsin. We describe the goals and organizing principles of grassland bird management in the state, beginning with some definitions and a discussion of bird-habitat relationships and bird distribution. We then discuss overall management philosophy, and proceed to identify management priorities for both grassland birds and habitats statewide. General habitat management guidelines are then discussed, as are management recommendations based on species' responses to general and specific management practices. Lastly, we address management issues and priorities for birds and habitats within each natural division in Wisconsin (Figure 1).5

This guide should help land owners, land managers, and planners identify the grassland bird species, communities, and habitats of management concern both in their local areas and statewide, and it should also help them determine what management practices will support specific habitats, bird species, or communities. We also identify specific landscapes, sites, and properties worthy of special management attention in Wisconsin.

Figure 1: Map of the Natural Divisions of Wisconsin
Figure 1.  Natural Divisions of Wisconsin, as described by Hole and Germain (1994).
     
Drawing by Jim McEvoy: Prairie dock
Prairie dock

5 We are using natural divisions as defined by Hole and Germain (1994) in this guidebook. These divisions are familiar to most Wisconsin natural resources managers. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has recently signed the Forest Accord, which is an agreement to use new ecoregions developed by U.S. Forest Service (Appendix C) which show some similarities to those used by Hole and Germain. Further, the DNR is now basing planning and management efforts within newly defined Geographic Management Units (GMU's)(Appendix D).
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