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Funded Projects

Benefits of a Buffer-Based Conservation Management System for Northern Bobwhite and Grassland Songbirds in an Intensive Production Agriculture Landscape in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Conservation practices such as field borders, filter strips, and riparian forest buffers improve environmental quality through erosion control, herbicide retention, water quality improvement, and provide wildlife habitat while removing marginal lands from production. Within intensive agricultural production systems, these strip habitats are often the only herbaceous grass communities remaining to provide resources to meet daily and season life requisites of farmland wildlife. However, information on the effects of strip width, landscape context, and relative value as part of a Conservation Management System (CMS) is needed to develop and refine USDA-NRCS practice standards. Furthermore, an understanding of functional relationships between practice implementation and bobwhite population performance is essential. This research will quantify practice-specific and collective effects of a buffer-based CMS on the local abundance of bobwhite and determine the effects of buffer width on density, diversity, and reproductive success of grassland songbirds in an intensive agricultural production system in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (BCR 26).

Stephen J. Dinsmore
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Box 9690
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Phone: (662) 325-8141

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