charles m. russell national wildlife refuge, montana
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CitationOlson, S. L., & Edge, D. (1985). Nest site selection by Mountain Plovers in northcentral Montana. Journal of Range Management, 38(3), 280-282.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractNest site selection of the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) was studied on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, during 1982. Vegetative characteristics of 26 nest sites, all on prairie dog towns, were compared to a random sample of plots on prairie dog towns and adjacent areas. Total plant cover, grass cover, big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and prickly pear (Opuntia polyacantha) density, and mean vegetation height were all significantly greater (P<0.05) in areas adjacent to prairie dog towns than at the nest sites; litter cover and fringed sagewort (Artemisia frigida) density were greater at the nest site. Within prairie dog towns, erosion pavement cover and mean vegetation height were greater on randomly sampled plots than at the nest sites. Mountain plovers select nest sites on prairie dog towns in patches of greater cover and less vegetative height than occur at random sites within the towns. Prairie dog towns offer islands of suitable mountain plover habitat and should be maintained on the Refuge, especially in light of the prairie dog control programs conducted on adjacent lands.