Passive restoration contributes to bird conservation in Brazilian Pampa grasslands

Passive restoration (natural colonization) has been tested and used as tool to recovery-degraded habitats, mainly in forests. Researchers have investigated for the first time that southern South America grasslands in the process of passive restoration can provide suitable habitat for many species of grassland birds and is an appropriate management tool for biodiversity conservation. Bird species restricted solely to, or which make extensive use of grassland habitats (such as Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch), were recorded in sites under passive restoration and native grasslands, as do also some species of conservation concern (such Sedge Wren and Pearly-bellied Seedeater).

In the study carried out at Brazilian Pampas from 2015 through 2017, Silva et al. found similar bird species richness and composition between sites under passive restoration and native grasslands, being only the total bird abundance greater in the last. The structure and cover of vegetation were also similar in sites under passive restoration and native grasslands, differing only in height – shorter vegetation in native grasslands.

Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch (Emberizoides herbicola), a grassland bird species, recorded predominantly in the sites under passive restoration. Photo credit: Thaiane Weinert da Silva.

One of the studied sites in Brazilian grasslands, extensive grazing is part these grasslands. Photo credit: Thaiane Weinert da Silva.

 

This research was recently published in the Journal of Field Ornithology:

Silva, T. W., D. B. Lindenmayer, and C. S. Fontana. 2019. Passive restoration contributes to bird conservation in Brazilian Pampa grasslands. Journal of Field Ornithology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12316.

 

Guest post by:

Thaiane Weinert da Silva
Dra. em Ecologia e Evolução da Biodiversidade
Bióloga, MSc. em Zoologia
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia (MCT)
http://lattes.cnpq.br/9154861061941755