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Game Birds Good Umbrella Species for Conservation

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Game species may be better suited as so-called umbrella species for larger conservation goals than some rare and endangered species, according to a newly published study. “When people look at umbrella species they tend to look at where species are protected,” said Andy Crosby, a doctoral student in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University and a member of The Wildlife Society. But, “Sometimes [those species] are too rare and it’s really difficult to protect a lot of habitat for them.” He is the lead author on the paper in Biological Conservation that looked at the possibility of using northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) as an umbrella species for the conservation of grassland and shrubland ecosystems. Crosby and his co-authors monitored the presence of bobwhites and other bird species in areas of the south-central United States. They found that the quail were a good predictor of nine other species, including Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii), dicksissel (Spiza americana), and grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) — all listed as species of conservation concern by states or the federal government. Crosby said that the advantage of focusing on bobwhite habitat conservation is that they are a game species, and they do fairly [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/game-birds-good-umbrella-species-for-conservation/

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