Abstract: Nicola Koper

Conservation of Canadian prairies and prairie songbirds

Prairies have undergone the most habitat conversion, and yet have the least protection, of any biome world-wide. This may explain why prairie birds have declined more rapidly than any other group of birds in North America. Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and management of extant prairies all contribute to changes in prairie communities and species populations. This presentation will focus on effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on conservation of tall-grass prairie plants in Manitoba, and effects of habitat edges on conservation of a threatened prairie songbird (Sprague’s pipit) in Alberta. Habitat edges have a dramatic effect on the conservation of both plants and birds and must be considered when evaluating habitat available for conservation.