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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Efficient Allocation of Scare Funds for Grassland Bird Habitat Conservation

The North American Breeding Bird Survey indicates that grassland bird populations have declined throughout much of North America, including New York. As a result of this widespread decline, increased conservation efforts have been focused on grassland breeding birds. In New York, the new Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) aims to create grassland habitat by paying private landowners to convert property to grasslands. Due to limited resources, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) can fund only those LIP applications that will protect the most productive grassland bird habitats. I will be evaluating the ranking criteria used by the DEC to select LIP sites, by surveying the abundance and diversity of grassland birds on those sites selected in 2007. This will provide a better understanding of what grassland attributes are most important in determining habitat suitability for grassland birds, and allow the DEC to more efficiently allocate limited resources for grassland bird conservation.

Presenter: Levi Atwater (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 104 Edwards
Time: 2:45 pm (Session IV)