Avian conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region, Northern Great Plains—Understanding the links between climate, ecosystem processes, wetland management, and bird communities

Product Type: 

Fact Sheet

Year: 

2011

Author(s): 

Skagen, S.K. and C.P. Melcher

Suggested Citation: 

Skagen, S.K. and C.P. Melcher. 2011. Avian conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region, Northern Great Plains—Understanding the links between climate, ecosystem processes, wetland management, and bird communities. Fact Sheet 2011–3030. U.S. Geological Survey. 4 p.

The Prairie Pothole Region of North America is characterized by myriad semi-permanent, seasonal, and temporary wetlands interspersed among rivers in a context of prairie uplands. These wetlands have supported millions of en route and breeding wetland-dependent birds. Many changes in land use and climate are likely to affect these wetland habitats by shifting their seasonal availability; the distribution of water and vegetation; and the phenology (annual recurrence of phenomena) of vegetation green-up, seed production, and insect emergence. In concert, these changes could alter the capacity of habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region to support waterbirds. A team of U.S. Geological Survey scientists and cooperators with expertise in the sciences of climate, hydrology, and ecology has convened to address the potential impacts of climate change on wetland-dependent species in the Prairie Pothole Region...