Effects of natural gas development on density and reproductive success of grassland birds in south-western Saskatchewan

 

Native grasslands in Saskatchewan provide important breeding habitat for many grassland birds, including species at risk. However, conservation agencies are concerned that the quantity and quality of remaining grasslands in south-western Saskatchewan may currently be threatened by expansion of natural gas development. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada manages large grassland parcels and seeks to maintain a functioning prairie ecosystem while meeting the needs of the gas industry. My objective is to determine the degree to which natural gas development influences density and reproduction of grassland birds. I will assess how bird density and reproductive success vary with the level of industrial disturbance and distance from w ells, compressor stations, and roads. Nature Saskatchewan w ill benefit from the information collected from the study to inform landowners with grassland birds with the best management practices associated with energy development.

Intern: 
Carolyn Gaudet
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Mark Brigham
Province: 
Saskatchewan
Discipline: 
Program: