Integrating Bird Conservation into Range Management

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2002: $81,937.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $30,773.00
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Tammy VerCauteren
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bovine


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, participatory research, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wildlife
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    We implemented workshops for resource professionals in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, and developed informational tools to assist resource professionals and landowners with integrating bird conservation into range management. We created a pocket-sized field guide that encompasses birds that are common or of conservation concern on the prairie. We developed a training module that covers bird identification, habitat needs, and their ecological and economic importance. A CD-ROM to assist with bird identification by sight and sound is in the development phase. These tools will help raise awareness for prairie birds including their identification, habitat needs, and conservation concerns.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Project Objectives:
    The overall goals are to integrate birds into range monitoring and management prescriptions and to heighten awareness of birds with resource managers and private landowners. Objectives to achieve these goals:

    Develop a teaching module for NRCS, SCD, university cooperative extension, and wildlife managers that integrates bird conservation into range management and monitoring. This module will complement Colorado State University’s Cooperative Extension project on “Coached Land Planning and Care” funded last year by SARE.
    Train-the-trainer sessions, including four pilot sessions, will be an integral part of module testing and development. After incorporating feedback from the pilot sessions, a total of four sessions will be implemented in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico with extensive evaluation. After final module modifications are incorporated, 500 copies of the curriculum will be made available to NRCS, SCD, university cooperative extension agents, and other resource managers for private landowner programs.

    Develop a protocol for bird evaluations, which will help resource managers and landowners tie range habitat and condition with birds. The protocol will be tested on at least three different ranches within the region important to shortgrass prairie birds, which includes Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Evaluations are a way to get resource managers and private landowners more in tune with birds on grassland habitats. Birds are excellent indicators of land health because they are closely linked with the ecosystem and typically are very conspicuous. Through time, our efforts will help enhance prairie stewardship and generate enthusiasm for birds and bird conservation. We will include this evaluation protocol in the module and training sessions.

    Create, print, and distribute an easy-to-use, illustrated bird pocket guide that resource managers and landowners can use to help them identify common bird species and their habitats throughout the shortgrass prairie. Our guide will be an effective tool for training sessions and programs as well as for bird evaluations. We will provide 5,000 copies to resource managers and private landowners.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.