McCowns Longspur2004

McCowns Longspur2004


Worldwide Species Action Plans

McCowns Longspur action planMcCowns longspurs (Calcarius mccownii) are locally abundant breeding birds of the shortgrass prairies of the Great Plains. In Region 2 of the USDA Forest Service, they commonly breed only on the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado and the Thunder Basin National Grassland in Wyoming. They winter mostly south of Region 2. Most populations appear to be stable or increasing, but due to a historical long-term decline in abundance on both their breeding and wintering grounds, this species is ranked by various state, federal, and private conservation organizations as a grassland species of concern, high priority, imperiled, with pressing needs, state imperiled, or a species of conservation concern. Loss of native shortgrass prairie to agriculture and development on both breeding and wintering grounds is the greatest threat to McCowns longspurs. Although most of the rangeland loss to agriculture was historical, more recent losses are not insignificant. In Colorado, for example, 3.8 percent of the remaining short and mixed-grass prairies east of the Rockies was lost to agriculture and urban expansion from 1982 to 1997 (Seidl et al. 2001). Habitat loss from increasing oil and gas development, especially in Wyoming, and the associated negative impacts of disturbance and fragmentation also pose a threat to McCowns longspurs. Fire suppression, prairie dog control, increasing recreational activities, and the use of pesticides are somewhat lesser threats. Any absolute changes in survival, or proportional changes in first-year and adult survival, will have major impacts on the population dynamics of this species.

  1. Calcarius mccownii
  2. Rhynchophanes mccownii
  3. NA c

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