The status of
grassland birds has become an increasingly important conservation issue.
These species exhibit the most consistent population declines of any
group of North American birds during the past 40 years. Anecdotal evidence
suggests these declines have been occurring for nearly a century (Peterjohn
and Sauer 1999). While the widespread conversion of grasslands into
other habitats contributed to these declining populations, other factors
such as habitat fragmentation and mowing regimes are also implicated
(Vickery et al. 1999a). This plight of grassland birds has heightened
awareness of the need for concerted conservation actions to reverse
these seriously declining population trends.
ecological model is one product of this project. The information presented
below allows NPS Network Coordinators to understand the factors to consider
when making decisions concerning grassland management within their networks.
This model provides park Resource Managers with information on grassland
ecology in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the ecological requirements of grassland
birds likely to occur in their parks, and management issues that influence
whether significant breeding populations can be expected to occupy grasslands
created and maintained in the parks. The Resource Managers can then
make informed decisions concerning their ability to create and maintain
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