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Managing Habitat for Grassland Birds
A Guide for Wisconsin



Table 4.  Ranking of all grassland communities according to management priority. a

Rank   Category   Habitat Type b

  1  Important to birds c, uncommon, vulnerable Open barrens 
Diverse barrens
Northern sedge meadow
Southern sedge meadow
Dry or sand prairie (most sites are small and will benefit from expansion, restoration, and buffering by idle grassland)
Idle warm season grass/forb - medium
Idle warm season grass/forb - tall
Idle cool season grass/forb - short
Idle cool season grass/forb - medium
Upland shrub
See comments under Rank #9

  2 Important to birds, common, vulnerable Pastures (light to moderately grazed)
Dry old field

  3 Important to birds, uncommon, secure No habitats in this category

  4 Somewhat important to birds, uncommon, vulnerable Wet-mesic or wet prairie (large sites only; many sites are too small and isolated to be of high value unless buffered by idle grasslands or established in large restorations)
Brush prairie barrens
Open bog
Oak or river barrens
Northern sedge marsh
Southern sedge marsh
Oak savanna
Wet old field
Mossed bog (see text)
See comments under Rank #9

  5 Important to birds, common, secure No habitats in this category. See comments under rank #12

  6 Somewhat important to birds, common, vulnerable Fallow fields
Shrubby wet old field
Shrub swamp
Small grains

  7 Somewhat important to birds, uncommon, secure No habitats in this category

  8 Somewhat important to birds, common, secure Cut- or burned-over
Young conifer plantation
Idle cool season grass/forb - tall

  9 Not important to birds uncommon, vulnerable Dry-mesic prairie (most sites are too small and isolated; could move to rank #1 when buffered by idle grassland habitats, embedded in large open grassland landscapes, or established in large restorations)
Conifer barrens (typically small sites; management for large sites through expansion and restoration would move this to rank #4)

  10 Not important to birds, common, vulnerable No habitats in this category

  11 Not important to birds, uncommon, secure Orchard
Park or golf course

  12 Not important to birds, common, secure Alfalfa or legume hay
GIF-Bracket move to rank #5 if haying is delayed past 15 July.
Grass or grass/legume hay
Row crops

a Priority ranking system based on the rarity matrix developed by Rabinowitz (1981).
b Habitats are not ranked within each category. Habitat types are the same as in Table 1 and Appendix E.
c "Birds" refers to grassland species only, particularly species of management concern.

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