Grassland bird populations have declined throughout much of North America. Because of this decline, more conservation efforts have focused on grassland birds. In New York, the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) aims to create grassland habitat by paying private landowners to convert their property to grasslands. Due to limited resources, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) can fund only the sites that will protect the most productive grassland bird habitats. I am evaluating the ranking criteria used by the DEC to select LIP sites by surveying grassland birds on 13 sites select in 2007 and eight that were not selected. Unfunded sites contained five focal species and averaged 5.7 birds/site, while enrolled sites contained seven species and averaged 8.9 birds/site. My study will provide an understanding of what attributes are important in determining habitat suitability for grassland birds and allow the DEC to efficiently allocate resources for grassland bird conservation.
|Presenter:||Levi Atwater (Graduate Student)|
|Time:||1:30 pm (Session III)|