Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Grasslands--Illinois--Whiteside County; Grassland ecology--Illinois--Whiteside County; Passeriformes--Illinois--Whiteside County; No-tillage--Illinois--Whiteside County; Grassland conservation--Illinois--Whiteside County


Today, only 0.01% of the native tallgrass prairie remains in Illinois. Its destruction has been accompanied by a similar decline in grassland passerines. Over the past 12 years, tallgrass habitat has been restored to a minor extent by the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This paper presents data on passerine populations on CRP land and conventional no-till farmland in Whiteside County, Illinois. Data were collected using the line transect method developed by Emlen (1971). Collectively, the CRP sites had greater species densities and total number of species than the conventional no-till sites. Three distinct types of bird populations were identified: grassland, farmland, and edge species. The grassland species appear to be extremely dependent on the CRP as a habitat source since without the CRP, grassland passerines would have been absent from this study. It is concluded that certain CRP plantings may provide habitat similar to that of the native tallgrass prairie and consequently support populations of small grassland birds.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [61]-65)


iv, 65 pages




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