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Monday, February 6 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Symposia Session - S2: Midwestern Agroecology and the Conservation of Grassland Birds. Leveraging Market Forces for Grassland Conservation: Audubon's Conservation Ranching Program

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AUTHORS: Brian Trusty, National Audubon Society Central Flyway; Marshall Johnson, Audubon Dakotas; *Chris Wilson, National Audubon Society

ABSTRACT: Over the past forty years, grassland birds have experienced steeper and more consistent population declines than any other avian guild, and numerous grassland birds are now candidates for endangered species listing. From 2008 to 2011, nearly 24 million acres, an area larger than the state of Indiana, was converted from grasslands to agriculture.  For the past four years, Audubon has been piloting market-based conservation ranching to address this threat.  The results of these pilots have exceeded all of our top-end goals. Because 85% of grassland bird habitat is in private hands, Audubon has found win-win collaborations with private landowners. Our approach is to create incentives for cattle ranchers to manage their grasslands for the benefit of grassland birds in locations throughout the Central Flyway from Canada to northern Mexico. We describe in detail how Audubon’s market-based approach to grassland conservation works and how it can translate into scalable outcomes throughout the entire landscape.

Monday February 6, 2017 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST
Arbor I/II