Because of the continuing loss of native grasslands, many shorebirds that breed in the temperate zone have become increasingly dependent on non-native grasslands associated with farming for breeding habitat. But invasive land-management in non-native grasslands has placed ground-nesting shorebirds at considerable risk. We studied the reproductive success of Long-billed Curlews (Numenius americanus) breeding in northeastern Nevada, in a landscape dominated by hay fields, between 2003 and 2006. Observed nest density was as high as 9 nests per 100 ha, and mean nest success was 31%, with considerable interannual variation. Predation, predominantly by large mammalian predators such as Coyotes (Canis latrans), was the greatest cause of nest failure in Long-billed Curlews. Flooding of nests during irrigation of hay fields and trampling and disturbance by cattle also affected nest success, albeit to a lesser degree. Fledging success of radiomarked chicks averaged 47%, and hay fields were the preferred brood-rearing habitat, especially in dry years. Mammalian predation was the greatest cause of chick mortality, whereas ranching activities had no noticeable effect on chick survival. In all years, Long-billed Curlews exhibited a high propensity for renesting after a first nest failure. After taking renesting into account, per-female nest success averaged 45% and mean annual productivity was 0.70 female chicks hatched and 0.33 female chicks fledged per breeding female. These results suggest that despite potential negatives associated with high land-management intensity, hay fields in northern Nevada can be of great value in conservation of the Long-billed Curlew.
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.
Vol. 126 • No. 2