Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Landscape-scale management of grassland birds in Wisconsin


July 2009 - September 2021


It is widely recognized that grassland obligate birds are declining faster than any other bird community in the Upper Midwest. Traditionally, conservation delivery has taken place opportunistically at the local scale and has ignored the importance of the landscape context in which that work is placed. Understanding how manage at a landscape-level is not well understood. This project is a collaboration across the USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and state natural resource managers in the Midwest. How grassland birds use current grassland systems and baseline densities of focal grassland birds in targeted landscape-scale conservation areas will be established to provide information to develop landscape-scale conservation plans for grassland birds in an adaptive management framework.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Ribic, C. A., M. J. Guzy, T. A. Anderson, D. W. Sample, and J. L. Nack. 2012. Bird productivity and nest predation in agricultural grasslands. Studies in Avian Biology 43: 119-134.
  • Guttery, M.R., C.A. Ribic, D. Sample, A. Paulios, C. Trosen, J. Dadisman, D. Schneider, and J.A. Horton. 2017. Scale-specific habitat relationships influence patch occupancy: defining neighborhoods to optimize the effectiveness of landscape-scale grassland bird conservation. Landscape Ecology 32:515-529

  • Byers, C.M., C. A. Ribic, D. W. Sample., J.D. Dadisman, and M. R. Guttery. 2017. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin. American Midland Naturalist 178:47-63.


  • Byers, Carolyn M. 2013. Grassland bird use of warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin. M.S. thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Byers, Jr., BJ. 2017. Avian response to fall biomass harvest on the Leopold Wetland Management District, Wisconsin. M.S. Thesis, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Asper, S. 2017. Report: Grassland bird species abundance on grazed and non-grazed land at Buena Vista Wildlife Area, WI. M.S.(Agroecology), University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 101

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 154

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 241

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 695

Scientific Publications: 1962

Presentations: 4417



  • Christine RibicPrincipal Investigator
  • Michael GutteryStudent
  • Byers BJStudent
  • Carolyn SchmitzStudent
  • Samantha AsperStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Science Support Partnership
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Science Services


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey