Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Integrated Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Thelma H. Dalmas, M.S.

Second Advisor

Carolyn Wells, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jay Jeffreys


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of wildlife management techniques on grassland bird species . Grassland birds have been declining in number for the last twenty-five years (Kershner and Bollinger 1996). Their decline is attributed to overall habitat loss. This study was conducted at James River Wildlife Management Area in Nelson County, Virginia. Three grassland plots were selected to represent three different kinds of management. One plot was planted in wheat, another in corn, and one plot was burned. Birds within these plots were monitored for one year. Each plot was also subjected to a vegetational analysis. Groups of bird species observed in each individual plot were shown to be statistically different from the other plots. This finding supports the idea that habitat can be managed to attract desired groups of birds. On the individual species level, variance between the three plots was calculated. Many species showed a distinct bias toward or away from particular plots. The most pronounced finding was that the Red-winged Blackbird largely favored the corn plot with few sightings in the burned plot and fewer still in the wheat plot.



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