Land Bird Conservation Plan Colorado  

Executive Summary
Overview of Colorado
Physiographic Region 36
Physiographic Region 62

  • Alpine Tundra
  • Aspen
  • Cliff/Rock
  • High Elevation Riparian
  • Lowland Riparian
  • Mixed Conifer
  • Mountain Shrubland
  • Ponderosa Pine
  • Sagebrush Shrubland
  • Spruce Fir
  • Wetlands


  • Physiographic Region 87
    Implementation Strategies
    Literature Cited
    Appendices

    Physiographic Region 62: Southern Rocky Mountains

    Sagebrush Shrubland - Implementation Strategies

    Bird Monitoring

    Goal: To monitor or track all breeding birds in sagebrush habitat to document distribution, population trends, and abundance in a statistically acceptable manner.

    Objective: All species with AI > 2 will be monitored with count-based methods.

    Strategy: Monitoring will be accomplished through the combined efforts of agencies with primary responsibility for managing this habitat.

    Strategy: Monitoring efforts will continue to rely on BBS data, with CBO's Monitoring Colorado's Birds (MCB) data incorporated as it becomes available.

    Status: MCB implemented sagebrush habitat transects in 1999 and ran a total of 29 transects; trend data should be available for most species within 5-12 years.

    Objective: All species with AI 2 will be tracked through count-based methods or their presence/absence noted in the state.

    Strategy: The MCB monitoring program will address this.

    Status: MCB was implemented in sagebrush habitat in 1999.

    Objective: All species with PT of 4 or 5 will be tracked with demographic monitoring.

    Strategy: CBO's MCB monitoring program will address this.

    Status: MCB demographic monitoring will begin in 2001.

    Habitat Monitoring

    Goal: To document the amount, condition, and ownership of sagebrush habitat in Colorado.

    Objective: Develop collaborative efforts to use GIS in mapping sagebrush habitat, documenting amount, condition, and ownership.

    Status: This effort has not been initiated to date. Potential collaborators include CDOW, CNHP, CBO, USGS, BLM, and TNC.

    Habitat Core Areas

    Goal: To conserve unique representatives and/or large, ecologically-functioning examples of sagebrush habitat in Colorado used during the breeding season, during migration, and/or during the winter.

    Objective: Identify such areas, use agency- or organization-specific means of designating and conserving them, and work with the appropriate agency or organization to promote conservation activities.

    Status: Appropriate areas include Colorado Natural Areas Program sites.

    Objective: Identify any of these areas that are appropriate for designation as Important Bird Areas (IBAs), nominate them, and promote involvement of local groups in conserving these areas once they are designated.

    Status: No sagebrush IBAs were nominated in 1999.

    Objective: To maintain or increase the quantity and quality of sagebrush habitat on private lands.

    Strategy: Encourage landowners to take advantage of funding opportunities and expertise for creating, restoring, and maintaining sagebrush habitat on their properties.

    Strategy: Promote collaboration/cooperation between agencies, organizations, and individuals in conserving unique representatives/core areas with multiple ownership.

    Strategy: Identify key landowners and encourage them to incorporate management guidelines from the Birds in a Sagebrush Sea (Paige and Ritter 1999) document into their management plans.

    Objective: To maintain or increase the quantity and quality of sagebrush habitat on public lands.

    Strategy: Integrate the BCP into management plans for public lands in the physiographic area.

    Strategy: Identify key land managers and encourage them to incorporate management guidelines from the Birds in a Sagebrush Sea (Paige and Ritter 1999) document into management plans for public lands.

    Objective: To recreate the heterogeneous landscape mosaic of prehistory so that breeding birds are always offered a patchwork of shrubland parcels in a variety of structural stages and densities.

    Strategy: Incorporate landscape-scale habitat management into management plans for public and private lands.

    Site-based Conservation

    Goal: To conserve local breeding sites, migratory stopover sites, and wintering sites in sagebrush that are important for the conservation of priority species.

    Objective: Identify agency- or organization-specific means of designating and conserving key local sites. Work with appropriate agencies and organizations to designate such sites, and promote conservation activities.

    Objective: Identify key local sites that are appropriate for designation as IBAs, nominate them, and promote involvement of local groups in conserving these areas once they are designated.

    Status: No sagebrush IBAs were nominated in 1999.

    Management Practices

    Goal: To promote management practices that benefit birds in sagebrush habitats.

    Objective: A Best Management Practices (BMP) manual will be produced and distributed.

    Status: The PIF Western Working Group document Birds in a Sagebrush Sea (Paige and Ritter 1999) is available for distribution as a hard copy or as a downloadable PDF file at http://www.partnersinflight.org.

    Objective: Identify key landowners and land managers and encourage them to incorporate management guidelines from the Birds in a Sagebrush Sea (Paige and Ritter 1999) document into management plans for public lands.

    Interstate/International Wintering Grounds

    Goal: To conserve the wintering ground habitat used by birds of sagebrush shrublands.

    Objective: Track the amount of habitat available on the wintering grounds.

    Strategy: Utilize GIS (state GAP projects, Heritage Program, and/or CBO).

    Strategy: Coordinate with appropriate state PIFs, domestic and foreign government agencies, and NGOs to obtain data.

    Objective: Protect key tracts of wintering habitat.

    Strategy: Identify the wintering distribution and key habitat associations of priority species.

    Strategy: Coordinate with appropriate state PIFs, domestic and foreign government agencies, and NGOs to protect wintering habitat through Habitat Core Areas and Site-based Conservation goals and objectives.

    Migration Concerns

    Goal: To protect migratory stopover habitat of birds of sagebrush habitats as they migrate outside of the state.

    Objective: Identify important migratory stopover areas for priority species that breed in Colorado, and key sites for priority species that breed elsewhere.

    Objective: Track amount, condition, and ownership of key migratory stopover sites.

    Strategy: Coordinate with appropriate state PIFs, domestic and foreign government agencies, and NGOs to protect migratory habitat through Habitat Core Areas and Site-based Conservation goals and objectives.

    Outreach and Education

    Goal: To provide information on sagebrush birds (conservation, habitat needs, natural history, etc.) to children, teachers, naturalists, landowners, natural resource professionals, and other interested parties.

    Strategy: Make educational materials available at local nature centers and natural resource agency offices.

    Strategy: Hold workshops and field programs for teachers.

    Strategy: Hold workshops and field programs for natural resource professionals (CDOW, BLM, and USFS staff).

    Strategy: Present information at Teacher Association meetings, conferences, other annual meetings.

    Strategy: Submit manuscripts to popular magazines for children and adults.

    Research Priorities

    Goal: To identify and facilitate research that will aid in understanding and managing sagebrush habitats for Colorado's birds.

    Objective: To identify the top ten research needs in sagebrush habitat in Colorado.

    Strategy: Update the list of research needs annually to reflect shifting conservation priorities and to remove research needs from the list as they are investigated.

    Strategy: Solicit input from researchers and managers on research needs and accomplishments.

    Status: The following research needs have been identified:

    1. The minimum patch sizes needed by area-sensitive sagebrush bird species, as measured by reproductive success.

    2. How other habitat factors may affect area sensitivity (such as structural stage or adjacent land cover types).

    3. The consequences of habitat fragmentation, such as possible increases in nest predation or cowbird parasitism rates.

    4. The effects on sagebrush birds of different management prescriptions, including prescribed burns and different grazing regimes.

    Strategy: Facilitate investigations to answer these questions by providing information about priority needs to universities, public and private research entities, identifying funding sources, and promoting collaboration between management and research agencies.


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