Cooperative Research Units
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RWO 100: Changes in Avian and Plant Community Composition and Structure Following Prescribed Thinning in Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands.


September 2017 - September 2021


Pinyon-juniper woodlands are an extensive and biologically important vegetation community across the western United States. This vegetation community type is vital because it has been found to have the highest diversity of wildlife, highest density of nesting birds, and the highest number of bird species throughout the year over all other upland habitats in the West.

Linked to overgrazing and to subsequent fire suppression following western colonization, pinyon-juniper woodlands have expanded beyond its historical distribution, with rapid encroachment into predominantly grass and shrubland habitats. This leads to desires for control, but because it has been documented across the West that pinyon-juniper thinning and removal reduces avian diversity and abundance, we need to acquire data that facilitates sound management decision analysis for landscape level management.

This study is being conducted in coordination and cooperation with the US DOI Bureau of Land Management and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 232

Phd Students: 160

Post Docs: 58

University Staff: 268

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 677

Scientific Publications: 1887

Presentations: 4313



Funding Agencies

  • BLM, State Office, NM


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey