Wildlife Conservation Grants: Funding Priorities
Evaluation of Pastures for Upland Birds Treatments
Pastures for Upland Birds is a cooperative program (Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Native Prairies Association of Texas) to restore native grassland vegetation and associated upland birds on introduced grass dominated pastures. The program focus area is the Blackland Prairie and Post Oak Savanna regions of eastern Texas. The standard vegetation treatment includes herbiciding of nonnative grass pastures followed by no-till seeding of native grasses. Since 2007, the program has treated over 2,000 acres of nonnative pastures in 20 counties, but there has been no rigorous assessment of the response of pasture vegetation in the treated areas. Vegetation at treatment sites would be quantitatively assessed to determine whether nonnative pasture grasses were eliminated and native grasses and forbs were established in their place.
- Findings would help document whether the current practice of herbiciding and reseeding effectively establishes native prairie vegetation.
- Findings could help identify climatic, soil and other variables associated with successful establishment of native prairie vegetation.
- Findings would provide an objective basis for refining treatments to reestablish native prairie vegetation in the Blackland Prairie and Post Oak Savanna regions of eastern Texas.