Ecological distribution and crude density of breeding birds on prairie wetlands

Journal of Wildlife Management
By:  and 


  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core


Breeding populations of 28 species of wetland-dwelling birds other than waterfowl (Anatidae) were censused on 1,321 wetlands lying within the prairie pothole region of North Dakota. Ecological distribution and two crude measures of relative density were calculated for the 22 commonest species using eight wetland classes. Semipermanent wetlands supported nearly two-thirds of the population and were used by all 22 species, whereas seasonal wetlands contained about one-third of the population and were used by 20 species Semipermanent, fen, and temporary wetlands contained highest bird densities on the basis of wetland area; on the basis of wetland unit, densities were highest on semipermanent, permanent, alkali, and fen wetlands. The highest ranking of semipermanent wetlands by all three measures of use was probably because these wetlands, as well as being relatively numerous and large, were vegetatively diverse. The fairly large proportion of the bird population supported by seasonal wetlands was a result of wetland abundance and moderate vegetative diversity. Increased vegetative diversity results from the development of characteristic zones of hydrophytes at sites where water persists longer during the growing season. Frequent cultivation of prairie wetlands results in the replacement of tall, robust perennials by bare soil or stands of short, weak-stemmed annuals that likely are unattractive to nesting birds.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ecological distribution and crude density of breeding birds on prairie wetlands
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume 48
Issue 2
Year Published 1984
Language English
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 426
Last page 437