Artificial avian nest Predation in a tallgrass prairie

TitleArtificial avian nest Predation in a tallgrass prairie
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsGoodman, JR
DegreeMS Thesis
Number of Pages1 -87
UniversityBall State University
CityMuncie, IN
Thesis TypeM.S. Thesis
Accession NumberKNZ00690
Keywordstallgrass prairie

Several species of Neotropical migrant songbirds are experiencing declining population numbers. One of many proposed reasons for these declines is the dramatic loss of suitable prairie and grassland nesting habitat in the central United States. The Konza Prairie - a native tallgrass prairie preserve in central Kansas - was used to study possible edge-effect predation of artificial avian ground nests. Two Japanese quail eggs were placed in created artificial nests along transect lines from a wooded edge, a recently burned edge, and a control area. The rate of nest predation after seven days was 16.1 (±12.9%) for the control area. This was taken to represent the typical base level of artificial nest predation for the Konza Prairie. The predation rates for the wooded edge and burned edge were 21.9% (±7.4%) and 18.0% (±6.0%), respectively. These rates were not statistically different from each other or the base level rate of predation. The data suggests that no edge-effect predation occurs for artificial avian ground nests along wooded or burned edges in the Konza Prairie. Predation rates of natural bird nests may be different than these results suggest. It is recommended that future studies identify nest predators and study their foraging behavior near edge habitat.