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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Grassland Birds and Vegetation at John White Wildlife Management Area, 2007

Over the past forty years, grassland bird populations in the northeastern United States have declined significantly. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is managing the John White Wildlife Management Area in Genesee County, New York as grassland bird habitat. Dr. Chris Norment, Dr. Mark Norris, and I collected data on vegetation and grassland birds in each field of the management area during the summer of 2007, as a follow-up to field work conducted in 2006. We found that grassland plant species sowed by the DEC had not become well established in most of the fields. Also, some of the fields did not contain many of the obligate grassland bird species for which the area is being managed. The Grasshopper Sparrow, a state-listed species, declined between 2006 and 2007. Also, we did not observe any Horned Larks in 2007, in contrast to 2006. I conclude that adjustments to the management regime may be required in order to provide more suitable habitat for grassland bird populations.

Presenter: Sabrina Isaacs (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 104 Edwards
Time: 2:30 pm (Session IV)