Abundances of raptors wintering in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, before and after a ban on grass field burning Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/q237ht75r

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  • For the past 50 years, open-field burning has served as the main method to manage postharvest residue in grass seed fields within the Willamette Valley. Recently, farmers have implemented the full straw load and clean-nonthermal methods to remove straw after harvest. We hypothesized that these two alternative methods have caused rodent populations to increase and that this increase would be reflected in raptor numbers. Roadside surveys were conducted from 2004 to 2013 in the Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties to gather data for abundances of raptors around grass seed fields. We compared the means of Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers, and Rough-legged Hawks before and after 2007. We found that there were no significant changes in numbers of any species before or after 2007. Data on rodent populations within burned fields and non-burned fields are needed to determine if the decrease in burned acreage has affected the abundance of raptors.
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