Steve K. Sherrod

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Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had(More)
Associations between extinction and habitat fragmentation have been modelled and described, but we document the first clear mechanistic link between habitat fragmentation and population persistence, demonstrating that a rapid evolutionary response to fragmentation can yield conditions wherein some populations are more vulnerable to extinction. Historical(More)
As a result of recurrent droughts and anthropogenic factors, the range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has contracted by 92% and the population has been reduced by approximately 97% in the past century, resulting in the smallest population size and most restricted geographical distribution of any North American grouse. We examined(More)
Life-history studies of prairie grouse have focused on reproductive ecology, habitat use, movement patterns and survivorship, with only cursory or anecdotal references to mortality causes, or they have been of insufficient duration or scale to infer mortality patterns. Because mortality causes and patterns affect other life-history traits, their(More)
In the southern Great Plains, the greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) is confined to tallgrass prairie, a habitat now largely converted to agriculture. Remaining prairie is highly fragmented and subjected to land management practices that greatly alter the ecosystem of this species. Chief among these practices are deliberate, large-scale spring(More)
The attributes of roadside vegetation, an important bird habitat in grassland ecosystems, have been shown to affect bird abundance, distribution composition, and diversity, yet there are relatively few works on reproductive success of birds nesting along roadsides. Because roadsides are linear habitats, management at the landscape scale can affect nest(More)
The structural attributes of shrubland communities may provide thermal refugia and protective cover necessary for wild animals to survive. During the summers of 2002 and 2003, we evaluated the thermal environment for lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) broods in southeast New Mexico across a complex landscape that included grazed(More)
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