Effectiveness of Small Nature Preserves for Breeding Birds

  • Scott K. Robinson
  • Jeffrey D. Brawn
  • Jeffrey P. Hoover


The ecological effects of habitat fragmentation pose problems for birds breeding in small nature preserves. Negative effects of habitat fragmentation have been well documented in breeding birds of midwestern forests and grasslands (Robinson 1988, Robinson and Wilcove 1994, Herkert 1994, Robinson et al. 1995). Area sensitivity, the absence of birds from small tracts even when suitable habitat is present, is pronounced in midwestern grasslands (Herkert 1991) and forests (Bond 1957, Kendeigh 1982, Ambuel and Temple 1982, Hayden et al. 1985, Blake and Karr 1984, 1987). Freemark and Collins (1992) found that area sensitivity was more extreme in the isolated tracts of the Midwest than in the more closely spaced tracts of forest of eastern North America. Although there are few long-term censuses from midwestern fragmented habitats, available evidence suggests long-term declines in populations of many species in fragmented grasslands (Herkert et al. 1992) and eastern forests (Hagan 1993, Wilcove and Robinson 1990).


Nest Predation Nest Success Floodplain Forest Forest Bird Tract Size 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott K. Robinson
    • 1
  • Jeffrey D. Brawn
    • 1
  • Jeffrey P. Hoover
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois Natural History SurveyChampaignUSA

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