What makes you optimistic about this study?
In addition to working with Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Movement of Life scientists to gain new information on meadowlark migratory connectivity, I look forward to including landowners in Smithsonian research. Building on existing community partnerships will enable us to improve our understanding of what these animals need to thrive and help us make strides to conserve the birds’ breeding and wintering grounds.
Over 95 percent of the eastern meadowlark population resides on private lands, so the best hope for their future lies in the hands of private landowners. There are agricultural practices that are compatible with the needs of meadowlarks and other grassland birds. By working together on this project, we can provide landowners with the tools they need to optimize management practices for conserving eastern meadowlarks and other grassland species in perpetuity.
This story appears in the July 2019 issue of Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute News. Friends of the National Zoo and Conservation Nation provided funding for this project.