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Managing Habitat for Grassland Birds
A Guide for Wisconsin

To the Reader


Graphic: Small Silhouette of a Sandpiper

The information in this guidebook derives from the Wisconsin grassland bird study, which was conducted from 1985-1997. This study included research into grassland bird distribution, abundance, community composition, habitat preferences, habitat requirements, population trends, and response to land use changes. Extensive field work for this study was conducted statewide, with particular focus on southern and central Wisconsin.

This guidebook is written primarily for natural resources managers who are familiar with many of the technical terms and concepts that are discussed here regarding grassland bird management. In the hope and expectation that many others beyond this primary audience—such as planners and private landowners—will also use this publication, we have included a glossary of terms and have linked those terms within the text. Some terms not in the glossary are defined where they first occur in the text.

Grassland bird management in Wisconsin is complex. It is therefore not easy to distill all of the necessary information into several simple steps—a short "recipe"—that will ensure successful management for all grassland birds in need of conservation attention in the state. It is our sincere hope that this guidebook will, while conveying some of the complexity of the issue, arm land managers with some of the knowledge and tools necessary to begin the process of implementing management for grassland birds throughout the state. It is also our hope that this management will make a positive difference for our grassland bird communities—communities that, along with grassland ecosystems as a whole, deserve our attention to ensure their presence and health in the future.

     Drawing by Jim McEvoy: Western Meadowlark
 Western Meadowlark

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