Title

A Baseline Assessment of Migratory and Resident bird use of a Prairie Restoration Site in eastern Washington

Faculty Mentor

Ruby Hammond

Document Type

Poster

Start Date

10-5-2023 9:00 AM

End Date

10-5-2023 10:45 AM

Location

PUB NCR

Department

Environmental Science

Abstract

Prairies, and other types of grassland ecosystems, have suffered some of the most profound losses worldwide, due to anthropogenic factors such as fossil fuel extraction, agriculture, and climate change. Likewise, organisms inhabiting grassland ecosystems have become extirpated across much of their historical range, not the least of which has been a 50% decline in grassland birds since the 1960s. In response to losses of intact prairie in eastern Washington, a 120-ac site has been established on the EWU campus to regenerate native prairie and monitor changes in the ecosystem as native plants recolonize and replace non-natives. Because birds are an important indicator species of ecosystem health, the goal of our research was to estimate baseline abundance and diversity of birds at the prairie restoration site before restoration takes place. We also assessed bird abundance and diversity at a small, intact prairie remnant 20 mi north of the EWU campus to compare current bird use of the restoration site with that of an intact prairie system. We assessed bird abundance and bird diversity using the line-transect method. We established one transect at each site, and counted all birds seen or heard within 50 meters of the transects. Our findings will provide a baseline of knowledge about how and when birds will begin to reinhabit the EWU restoration site and inform future restoration efforts on the benefits and outcomes of restoring native grasslands locally, and worldwide.

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COinS
 
May 10th, 9:00 AM May 10th, 10:45 AM

A Baseline Assessment of Migratory and Resident bird use of a Prairie Restoration Site in eastern Washington

PUB NCR

Prairies, and other types of grassland ecosystems, have suffered some of the most profound losses worldwide, due to anthropogenic factors such as fossil fuel extraction, agriculture, and climate change. Likewise, organisms inhabiting grassland ecosystems have become extirpated across much of their historical range, not the least of which has been a 50% decline in grassland birds since the 1960s. In response to losses of intact prairie in eastern Washington, a 120-ac site has been established on the EWU campus to regenerate native prairie and monitor changes in the ecosystem as native plants recolonize and replace non-natives. Because birds are an important indicator species of ecosystem health, the goal of our research was to estimate baseline abundance and diversity of birds at the prairie restoration site before restoration takes place. We also assessed bird abundance and diversity at a small, intact prairie remnant 20 mi north of the EWU campus to compare current bird use of the restoration site with that of an intact prairie system. We assessed bird abundance and bird diversity using the line-transect method. We established one transect at each site, and counted all birds seen or heard within 50 meters of the transects. Our findings will provide a baseline of knowledge about how and when birds will begin to reinhabit the EWU restoration site and inform future restoration efforts on the benefits and outcomes of restoring native grasslands locally, and worldwide.