Most remaining grasslands are used for livestock grazing; stocking rates could be managed to help stop declining songbird populations. We examined the effects of stocking rates on grassland songbirds in northern mixed-grass prairies using a beyond—Before-After-Control-Impact manipulative experiment in Canada's Grasslands National Park and adjacent community pastures. The study area consisted of nine 300-ha pastures grazed at a range of stocking rates starting in 2008. We conducted songbird surveys at six upland plots in each pasture from 2006–2010 and measured vegetation structure within each plot from 2008–2010 (n = 54). We evaluated the effects of stocking rates on habitat structure and songbird abundance using linear and generalized linear mixed models. Baird's sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) relative abundance declined with increasing stocking rates. Chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus) relative abundance increased only at higher stocking rates, indicating a possible threshold effect. Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) relative abundance decreased with stocking rates above 0.4 AUM after a year of grazing. Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) relative abundance declined with grazing, but the effect was weak and only significant in 1 year. Western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) abundance was unaffected by grazing. Stocking rates may be used to benefit grassland songbirds and may alter avian communities after as little as 1 month of livestock grazing. Applying a range of stocking rates regionally may provide habitat for many species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.