Person: Conner Willis

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Wild bird populations can thrive in
properly managed working landscapes.
• Cattle activity changes grassland structure;
creating areas with short and tall
vegetation, which provides habitat that
is less available in conservation areas.
• For some species, rotationally grazed
pastures have the capacity to support
greater bird population sizes compared
to conservation areas that are
not grazed.
• Prairies and pastures complement one
another to protect a wider range of
birds then either habitat alone.
Key findings
• Restored prairie in a conservation
area supported 285 birds (21 species)
in 2016 and 230 birds (25 species) in
2017.
• Rotationally grazed perennial pasture
supported 553 birds (22 species) in
2016 and 468 birds (23 species) in
2017.
• Rotationally grazed perennial + annual
pasture supported 524 birds (28
species) and supported 545 birds (21
species) in 2017.
• Pastures better supported some birds
that are considered in decline than the
restored prairie.

December 6, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT