Observations of Avian Nesting Activity in Burned and Non-burned Weeping Lovegrass CRP

Deanna Oberheu, Rob Mitchell, Brad Dabbert, Seth Davis

Abstract


Weeping loegrass (Eragrostis curvula) has been established on over one million acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in the Southern High Plains of Texas. Weeping lovegrass has been suggested to have minimal value as wildlife habitat, but little research is available to support this claim. We conducted nest searches during June and July 1996 and June 1997 to determine nesting activity in burned and non-burned weeping lovegrass CRP. Ten nests of three different species were located, nine in non-burned areas and one in burned areas. Although few nests were located, this study documents use of weeping lovegrass as nesting habitat by Cassin's sparrow, a species declining throughout its range, during drought. Prescribed burning did not improve weeping lovegrass for nesting habitat for at least one year after burning due to reduced cover.

Keywords


Aimophila cassini; conservation reserve program; fire; prescribed burning

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