A Survey for Federally Listed Grassland Birds at First Nations Reserves

Scott D. Stevens, Troy I. Wellicome


We surveyed native and non-native grassland for federally listed grassland bird species at Reserves and/or Treaty Land Entitlements (TLE) belonging to five First Nations in the prairie ecozone of Canada. Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis – of special concern), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus – threatened), and Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus – of special concern) were observed at five of 335, three of 361, and five of 329 survey points within their respective geographic ranges. Sprague’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii – threatened) was observed at 69 of 361 survey points and accounted for 84% of sites with listed birds. Estimates of proportions of native and non-native grassland within 400 m of survey points indicated that Sprague’s Pipit preferred native grassland. Despite special effort, the Burrowing Owl (Athene culicularia – endangered) was not observed, although a nest from a previous year was encountered. We recorded the greatest number of species and individuals on reserves located in mixed and moist-mixed grasslands that contained large portions of native grassland. In many instances, field assessments revealed unsuitable habitat at sites that remote-sensing data classified as suitable.


Burrowing Owl; Athene cunicularia; Ferruginous Hawk; Buteo regalis; Loggerhead Shrike; Lanius ludovicianus; Long-billed Curlew; Numenius americanus; Sprague's Pipit; Anthus spragueii; grassland species at risk; habitat assessment; remote sensing; Canada

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v119i4.178

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