Grassland and Prairie Surveys

MRBO is doing very little field work this year and focusing on the analysis of our large existing datasets.  However, there are a few partner organizations for which we are pleased to conduct surveys.  These are the Bobolink Foundation and associated 3CP Partnership in the Flint Hills of Kansas, the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF), and the Audubon Conservation Ranching program in cooperation with Powell Gardens.  All of the properties are unique, important examples of native prairie managed by conservation-minded stewards. 

The surveys follow our robust protocol of line transects systematically placed on properties for comprehensive coverage.  Observers walk the transects at a pace of about one mile per hour and record every bird seen or heard directly into ESRI’s Field Maps app.  Using this method results in spatially-explicit (i.e. mapped) bird detections throughout each property.  2022 is the first year of surveys on the Powell Gardens properties and on MPF’s Thoh-dah Prairie.  The sites in Kansas and MPF’s Sheldon Cook Memorial Meadow have been surveyed in previous years.  The repetition of surveys across several years allows us to examine trends in bird populations and individual species’ responses to ongoing management. 

Our thanks to former MRBOers Matt Longabaugh and Alex Marine who returned to help with surveys this year! 

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