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Project ID: 01-3-2-09

Year: 2002

Date Started: 01/31/2002

Date Completed: 01/23/2006

Title: Prescribed Fire for Fuel Reduction in Northern Mixed Grass Prairie: Influence on Habitat and Population Dynamics of Indigenous Wildlife

Project Proposal Abstract: Prescribed fire is used increasingly to reduce accumulated fuels on National Midlife Refuges (NWRs) and other reserves in the northern Great Plains. There are surprisingly few published data, however, on effects of prescribed fire on prairie wildlife production. This is true especially for migratory bird production in northern mixed grass prairie, the primary goal and habitat, respectively, that characterize most NWRs in the northern prairie region. Data available are limited due to their narrow geographic and subject scope. Without better information, agency planning mandates or public-sector lawsuits could curtail prescribed fire use on NWRs. A comprehensive, geographically broad survey of fire effects is proposed that will provide significantly greater inference and more fully address local information needs Of land managers. The proposed work capitallzes on an opportunity to augment ongoing local research at J Clark Salyer NWR in north central North Dakota, by expanding the study focus and extending replications to other NWRs. Objectives are to document effects of prescribed burning of northern mixed grass prairie on: productivity and nest site selection of migratory birds especially grassland son gbirds; small mammal community makeup; vegetation composition and structure; influence of major woody fuels, firebreaks, and other landscape edges on avian productivity and nest distribution. Avian productivity will be assessed on native prairie units (40-80 ha each) by multiple nest-searches on foot with a rope drag. Vegetation structure and composition will be assessed on random plots and at nests with a Wiens rod and belt transects. Landscape influences will be assessed with GIS databases and software. Study results will fill basic information gaps and give land managers a novel chance to clearly identify opportunities and limitations with prescribed burning in relation to the mission and goals of their respective NWRs.

Principal Investigator: Robert Murphy

Agency/Organization: FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Branch or Dept: Des Lacs NWR

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Todd A. Grant

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

J. Clark Salyer NWR & WMD

Co-Principal Investigator

Elizabeth M. Madden

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Medicine Lake NWRC

Federal Cooperator

Robert Murphy

FWS-Fish and Wildlife Service

Des Lacs NWR

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Plains

There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    2364 Journal Article Peer-reviewed publication on woody fuels effects.
    2365 Journal Article Peer-reviewed publications on avian nest site selection.
    2366 Journal Article Peer-reviewed manuscript on small mammal communities.
    2367 Journal Article Peer-reviewed manuscripts on Grassland bird productivity.
    167 MS Thesis Master of Science Thesis on avian nest site selection.
    345 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Influence of Fire on Habitat of Indigenous Wildlife
    346 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Grassland Bird Productivity
    403 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Changes in Woodland Cover

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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