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Funded Projects

Responses of Northern Bobwhite, Vegetation and Invertebrates to Three Methods of Renovating Monotypic CRP Grasslands in Southcentral Illinois

There are 194,000 ha of CRP grasslands in the primary range of the northern bobwhite in Illinois; however, most fields are monotypic stands of cool season grasses in excess of 4 years old. These fields are in need of renovation to thin grass stands and restore annuals and legumes favored by bobwhite and other early succession species for nesting, roosting and brood foraging. In this study, portions of old CRP fields will be renovated by fall disking, late summer herbicide spraying or fall disking followed by late winter seeding of lespedeza. About 20-30 percent of each treatment field will be managed each year for three years. Each field will be paired with an untreated (control) field. In July and August, walking transects will be conducted in managed portions of treated fields and in control fields. Observations of bobwhite adults, broods and other wildlife will be recorded. After July transects are completed, vegetation composition and structure along transects will be measured. Transects will be repeated in August. After August transects are completed, the diversity and abundance of invertebrates will be measured along transects. Data collected will be analyzed to detect differing responses by wildlife, vegetation, and invertebrates to the 3 treatments. Costs of implementing the three treatments and landowner acceptance of CRP management will also be reported.

Donald W. Sparling
Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901

Phone: (618) 453-6949

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