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Management of Northern Prairies and Wetlands for the Conservation of Neotropical Migratory Birds

by
Douglas H. Johnson*


Abstract: Grasslands and wetlands of the northern prairies provide important breeding habitat for a number of birds. Deciding which species deserve most attention in managing those habitats depends, in part, on the importance of the area to the species. Many species in northern prairies are more common elsewhere and need no special consideration in that area. Several species, however, are critically dependent on the prairies. These species merit particular attention if protection of biodiversity is a goal.

Both grasslands and wetlands in the northern prairies have been extensively converted for agricultural use, which has reduced the value of these habitats for breeding birds. Most land-use changes took place before monitoring programs for birds began, so quantitative assessments of changes in avian populations are lacking. This paper discusses the status of bird populations in the northern prairies, key upland and wetland habitats, effects of common management practices, and issues that specifically result from a landscape perspective. Most management practices are employed for other objectives; consequences to nongame birds are incidental, but vitally important to some species.


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1091):
Johnson, Douglas H.  1996.  Management of northern prairies and wetlands for 
     the conservation of neotropical migratory birds.  Pages 53-67 in F. R. 
     Thompson, III, ed.  Management of Midwestern Landscapes for the Conservation 
     of Neotropical Migratory Birds.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest 
     Service, General Technical Report NC-187.  North Central Forest Experiment 
     Station, St. Paul.

This resource should be cited as:

Johnson, Douglas H.  1996.  Management of northern prairies and wetlands for 
     the conservation of neotropical migratory birds.  Pages 53-67 in F. R. 
     Thompson, III, ed.  Management of Midwestern Landscapes for the Conservation 
     of Neotropical Migratory Birds.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest 
     Service, General Technical Report NC-187.  North Central Forest Experiment 
     Station, St. Paul.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center 
     Online.  http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/neobird/index.htm 
     (Version 17NOV2000).

Table of Contents

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* Northern Prairie Science Center, National Biological Service, Jamestown, ND 58401.
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