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Kevin Doherty

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Conifer encroachment is one of the most significant threats to sagebrush habitats and the species that rely on them. Removal of encroaching conifers is beneficial for Greater Sage-Grouse, but impacts on other sagebrush-obligate species are not well understood. This project aims to quantify the impact of conifer removal on sagebrush songbird abundance and reproductive success. Work has been initiated through a previously-supported (by IR5/7 SA) Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit project across six conifer-removal and six conifer-remaining (control) plots of ca. 55 ha each. Initial results suggest that conifer removal benefits both abundance and nesting success of sagebrush-obligate species (Brewers Sparrows...
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This project will build a Geographic Information System (GIS) database for the Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC comprised of1) wetland abundance, 2) land cover, 3) primary productivity, and 4) wetness. Ultimately, the database will provide foundational information for future research and will facilitate management and conservation activities for multiple species across the entire LCC.
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We used publically available data on duck breeding distribution and recently compiled geospatialdata on upland habitat and environmental conditions to develop a spatially explicitmodel of breeding duck populations across the entire Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Ourspatial population models were able to identify key areas for duck conservation across thePPR and predict between 62.1 – 79.1% (68.4% avg.) of the variation in duck counts by yearfrom 2002 – 2010. The median difference in observed vs. predicted duck counts at a transectsegment level was 4.6 ducks. Our models are the first seamless spatially explicit modelsof waterfowl abundance across the entire PPR and represent an initial step toward jointconservation...
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This project will support the use of the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to calculate current populations, population trend, and ultimately desired population objectives for the priority species outlined in the IR 5/7 SHC Plan. Benchmarks will be estimated to highlight grassland and sagebrush habitat needed to support desired populations as outlined in the Partners in Flight Plan by 2050. The BCR specific population targets provide a solid foundation to continue to build and refine the R6 SHC Teams Work towards effective planning and ultimately effective on-the-ground conservation delivery. A $55,000 investment supports conservation priorities for both Grassland and Sagebrush Ecosystems.Start date: 9/1/2021Project...
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Rapid expansion of cropland threatens grassland ecosystems across western North America and broad-scaleplanning can be a catalyst motivating individuals and agencies to accelerate conservation. Sprague’s Pipit(Anthus spragueii) is an imperiled grassland songbird whose population has been declining rapidly in recent decades.Here, we present a strategic framework for conservation of pipits and their habitat in the northern GreatPlains.We modeled pipit distribution across its million-km2 breeding range in Canada and the U.S.We describefactors shaping distribution, delineate population cores and assess vulnerability to future grassland losses. Pipitsselected landscapes with a high proportion of continuous grassland...
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