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1 May 2011 Are Small Habitat Patches Useful for Grassland Bird Conservation?
Toni Weidman, John A. Litvaitis
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Grasslands, and species dependent on them, have been declining throughout New England since large-scale farm abandonment began in the 19th century. Several avian grassland obligates are now considered threatened within New England. During the summer of 2009, we inventoried breeding birds at the 10.5-ha National Guard training site in Strafford, NH using systematic surveys. Dolichonyx oryzivorus (Bobolinks), Sturnella magna (Eastern Meadowlarks), and Passerculus sandwichensis (Savannah Sparrows) were found breeding at the site. Bobolinks were the most abundant grassland obligate, and their nesting success on this site indicates that small grasslands may be just as useful in grassland bird conservation as larger habitat patches. Because large grasslands in New England are few and usually consist of hayfields and pasture, blueberry barrens, military and commercial airports, and landfills, focusing conservation efforts on smaller grasslands as well as large ones seems warranted.

Toni Weidman and John A. Litvaitis "Are Small Habitat Patches Useful for Grassland Bird Conservation?," Northeastern Naturalist 18(2), 207-216, (1 May 2011).
Published: 1 May 2011

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