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Madison, WI, United States

DiGaudio R.T.,Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group | Kreitinger K.E.,Wisconsin Society for Ornithology | Hickey C.M.,Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group | Seavy N.E.,Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group | Gardali T.,Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group
California Agriculture | Year: 2015

To address the loss of wetlands and riparian forests in California, private lands habitat programs are available through U.S. federal and state government agencies to help growers, ranchers and other private landowners create and enhance wildlife habitat. The programs provide financial and technical assistance for implementing conservation practices. To evaluate the benefits of these programs for wildlife, we examined bird use of private wetlands, postharvest flooded croplands and riparian forests enrolled in habitat programs in the Central Valley and North Coast regions of California. We found that private Central Valley wetlands supported 181 bird species during the breeding season. During fall migration, postharvest flooded croplands supported wetland-dependent species and a higher density of shorebirds than did semipermanent wetlands. At the riparian sites, bird species richness increased after restoration. These results demonstrated that the programs provided habitat for the species they were designed to protect; a variety of resident and migratory bird species used the habitats, and many special status species were recorded at the sites.

Hapner J.A.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Hapner J.A.,West Bend | Reinartz J.A.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Fredlund G.G.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | And 4 more authors.
Wetlands | Year: 2011

We described the change in avian use over time in small created and restored wetlands in southeastern Wisconsin. Quantitative avian surveys were conducted in 28 sites ranging in age from 11 to 15 years and compared to data collected in the same sites in 1994. Bird species were categorized into ruderal, wetland, and oldfield habitat guilds. The density of bird use was compared between survey years. We tested for significant effects of wetland age, size, and landscape variables on avian use. The total number of bird species using the restorations increased by 35% over the 10-year period, although the average number of bird species recorded in each wetland during a single visit did not change significantly. There was also a substantial shift from wetland to oldfield habitat guilds resulting from a net loss of 5 wetland-dependent bird species and a net gain of 19 oldfield and 2 ruderal bird species. Mean bird density increased from 13.5 birds per hectare in 1994 to 58.2 in 2004. Our results suggest that although conservation wetlands and their associated buffers initially provide avian habitat for many wetland-dependent bird species, structural changes in the plant community over time create habitat increasingly favored by grassland/shrubland birds. © Society of Wetland Scientists 2011.

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