Grassland breeding bird abundances in New York State mirror a national downward trajectory as land-use changes degrade, destroy, and fragment suitable habitat. We quantified and compared bird abundances on pastures that were subject to continuous grazing, minimal rotation, or holistic resource management. We hypothesized that grassland bird abundance varied systematically with pasture management approaches. We measured grassland bird abundances using 40-m radius point counts performed on 27 pastures. Further, we assessed vegetation and environmental parameters to characterize the available habitat on each pasture. Holistic resource managed pastures had 1.5 and 4.5 times higher average abundances of obligate grassland birds than minimally rotated or continuously grazed pastures, respectively. Overall, our results indicate that farms can employ strategies that promote grassland bird habitat and may therefore have a positive influence on grassland bird metapopulations in New York State.
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Vol. 24 • No. sp8