Sacajawea Audubon

December 9th Program – Little Birds on the Prairie

Western Meadowlark   (by L. Harris)

Western Meadowlark (by L. Harris)

Join Sacajawea Audubon on Monday, December 9th at 7 p.m. for a presentation by Kevin Ellison of World Wildlife Fund.

Since their numbers were first estimated in the 1960’s, grassland birds have been in decline. Today, grassland birds are more imperiled than any other habitat-based group in North America. Obvious threats include large-scale changes in land use, including livestock production, crop production, oil and gas extraction, water use, fire suppression, and exurbanization. Kevin Ellison has worked on several of these issues and is now focused on working with ranchers to identify win-wins for sustainable ranching and ecosystem management. Kevin comes from a background of studying the evolution of cowbirds and their hosts in response to brood parasitism, the behavior of grassland birds and their potential nest predators near wooded tree rows and their removal, the relationships between birds and bison, grassland bird migration, and the application of key grassland bird species as indicators for grazing management that benefits other wildlife as well. Kevin will present an overview on these topics and looks forward to attempting to answer any related questions you may have.

Kevin is the Grasslands Ecologist for the Northern Great Plains Program. He has more than 20 years of experience conducting research in avian ecology. Kevin completed his Master’s thesis at the University of California, Riverside and his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba. Originally from relatively Tallgrass remnant-rich northern Illinois, Kevin returned to the region in 2005 to conduct his post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Between 2008 and 2013, Kevin worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Bozeman studying the relationships between grassland birds and grazing management.  Kevin has published 25 articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed publications. A majority of his research has focused on nesting ecology, nest predation, video monitoring of nests, cowbird ecology, bison ecology, climate adaptation and vulnerability in grasslands, bird migration, habitat management, and the development of livestock management practices that conserve habitats for wildlife. Kevin enjoys the outdoors around Bozeman with his wife and their 5-yr-old.  Kevin has enjoyed participating in the Sacajawea CBC, surveying the Lindley Park to Sunset Hills section since 2008.


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