Do Shrubs Push Out Grassland Birds?

The PLJV partnership has been using the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program to monitor grassland bird populations since 2016, with most of that sampling designed to measure birds across average conditions. However, shrub encroachment is becoming more and more of an issue, one that many of our conservation partners are wanting to […]

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Partnership’s Accomplishments Highlighted in 2018 Annual Report

PLJV’s 2018 annual report is now available, and we’d like to thank all of our partners! 2018 marked a great year of accomplishments for the Joint Venture and demonstrated our effectiveness as a partnership-driven organization. In addition to developing new tools for the benefit of our partnership and regional communities, such as the Kansas Water […]

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Studying the Human Dimensions of CRP Participation

Why do landowners participate in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)? To what extent do landowners who no longer participate in CRP continue to manage their land as grass versus plow it out? What do landowners need that would help catalyze their land stewardship after their participation in CRP ends? These questions are the focus […]

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Colorado Study Helps PLJV Improve Energetics Calculations

Adam Behney, an avian researcher at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, recently completed the first phase of his research study on foraging ecology of ducks and shorebirds in the South Platte River Basin, which was partially funded by a 2016 PLJV ConocoPhillips grant. The research directly addressed information PLJV needs for biological planning and will provide […]

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First-year Results of Region-wide Bird Data Are In

Lark Bunting

Many species of grassland birds unique to the western Great Plains—such as Colorado’s state bird, the Lark Bunting—are in steep decline. What appears to be a small decline of 3% per year will amount to a loss of more than half of the Lark Bunting population over a 17-year period, and this is happening to […]

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It’s More Than Counting Birds

As field biologists, many of us are innately observant. As field biologists conducting avian point counts, we are trained to take our observation skills to an entirely different level. In short, a point count begins with a rapid assessment of the habitat and surrounding vegetation, followed by six minutes of keen listening and observation. The […]

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Bird Monitoring Program Expands into Southern Great Plains

This year, the IMBCR bird monitoring effort expanded into the Southern Great Plains. To do that, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies needed to add more than 200 new survey locations and bring on additional field crew to finish the needed point surveys in the short bird-counting season. “We hired and trained 17 field technicians to […]

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Playa Recharge Summit Provides Answers to Common Questions

Playas are a major source of recharge to the Ogallala Aquifer, contributing up to 95 percent of inflow of water to the aquifer and improving the quality of that water. For those who may have doubts, it was confirmed by 14 playa experts who participated in PLJV’s Playa Recharge Summit last November. The Summit was […]

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Graduate Student Conducts Research on Snowy Plover

An increasingly crowded world has spilled over into the Texas Southern High Plains, and the effects are contributing to population declines of a small bird that relies on the region’s saline lakes for survival. The snowy plover, a shorebird about six inches in length, uses regional saline lakes for nesting and as stopover habitats during […]

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Research Sheds Light on Regional Impacts to Playas

PLJV routinely states that there are approximately 80,000 playas found throughout the region—but recognizes that many are partially or no longer functional because of modifications from agricultural activities and other economic developments. Estimates of numbers of playas modified and differences among regions have been largely speculative. However, two recent papers have shed light on the […]

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