Sharing Your Land with Prairie Wildlife

Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Colorado

Type Conservation Organization Publication
Organization Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Country United States
Region Colorado
Grass Type Short Grass
Link and Brochures/SYL Sep 06.pdf
Language English
Reference Gillihan et al. (2006). Sharing Your Land with Prairie Wildlife. Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory. Colorado.
Date modified May 2013

The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) created this document to educate land managers about grassland management practices to help enhance bird and wildlife habitat in short grass prairies. Additional information is also included about agencies and organizations that can help with technical and financial assistance in achieving the described management practices.

RMBO’s recommendations to land managers, listed on p. 5 of this document, include: scheduling haying, plowing, burning, or heavy grazing in the spring before or after the nesting season as such activities can disrupt breeding activities, destroy nests, or expose nests and birds to predators; managing croplands under a conservation tillage system, which can provide cro residue that acts as cover for birds, their nests, and their prey; reseeding with native species since birds have a long history with specific plants and plant communities and are more likely to breed successfully and overwinter where the plants are natives; controlling non-native plant species, emphasizing early detection, control of spreading, and facilitated re-colonization by native plants; and burning short grass prairie every 8–10 years, an interval that is approximately equal to the historic interval.

Since man-made watering troughs are an important feature on many ranches, RMBO also advises installing escape ladders for birds and small animals ensures they are not detrimental to local wildlife.