Latest Publications

Adams, H.L., L.W. Burger Jr., S. Riffell. 2015. Edge effects on avian diversity and density of native grass conservation buffers. The Open Ornithology Journal 8:1-9. Download

Oedekoven, C. S., S. T. Buckland, M. L. Mackenzie, R. King, K. O. Evans, L. W. Burger. 2014. Bayesian methods for hierarchical distance sampling models. Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics 19:219-239. Download

Evans, K. O., L. W. Burger, S. K. Riffell, M. D. Smith, D. J. Twedt, R. R. Wilson, S. Vorisek, C. Rideout. 2014. Avian response to conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes during winter. Wildlife Society Bulletin. Download

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The National CP-33 Monitoring Program

Upon initiation of the CRP continuous signup practice CP-33, Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds in 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture-Farm Service Agency (FSA) Notice CRP-479 specified that a monitoring program be developed to provide baseline data on quail populations, and estimate impacts of the CP-33 practice on quail and other upland bird populations. To realize these objectives, the FSA required the implementation of state-wide sampling of a subset of CP-33 contracts.

The FSA charged the Research Committee of the Southeast Quail Study Group (SEQSG, now the National Bobwhite Technical Committee) and Southeast Partners in Flight (SEPIF) with the development of a coordinated national CP-33 monitoring program and a multi-state CP-33 monitoring protocol. Because the acreage of CP-33 varied among the 35 states receiving allocation, the SEQSG recommended that monitoring of northern bobwhite and other upland birds be conducted in the 20 states that contain 95% of the CP-33 acreage allocation, and that are within the core range of the northern bobwhite.

In 2006, the FSA adopted the monitoring protocol developed by the SEQSG and SEPIF and encouraged states with CP-33 allocation to participate in the coordinated monitoring effort, which was administered by the Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center. The national CP-33 monitoring program consists of two phases: Phase I following contract initiation (2006-2008), and Phase II evaluating bird response following mid-contract management activities (2009-2011). Both phases of CP-33 monitoring consist of state-level breeding season monitoring of northern bobwhite and Partners in Flight designated priority upland bird species, and Phase I consisted of fall monitoring of northern bobwhite coveys. Each state is required to conduct monitoring on a minimum of 40 CP-33 contract fields paired with similarly cropped non-buffered fields during the breeding season each year (2006-2009), and in the fall (2006-2008). There are currently 1,164 paired CP33 and non-buffered fields being surveyed in 14 states within the core bobwhite range (Figure 1). Comparative densities of bobwhite and other priority species on CP33 and non-buffered fields are estimated annually for breeding season and fall surveys using a 3-tiered approach (across bobwhite range (program-wide), within each Bird Conservation Region (BCR), and within each state).


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Figure 1. National CP-33 current acreage allocation (as of June 2010), distribution of effort of bobwhite and upland bird surveys conducted as part of the CP-33 Monitoring Program (2006-20011), and Bird Conservation Regions in which CP-33 monitoring points are located. Nearly 1,200 survey stations of paired CP-33 and control fields in 14 states within the bobwhite's core range.


We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this work provided by USDA-FSA, USDA-NRCS-CEAP, and the AFWA Multistate Conservation Grant Program (Grant MS M-1-T and MS-M-2-R), a program supported with funds from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program and jointly managed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006. We also appreciate the efforts of many dedicated state wildlife agency employees, volunteers, and other personnel who coordinated and collected the bird data in each state. Finally, we recognize that participating state wildlife resource agencies and organizations invest substantively more resources in delivering CP-33 monitoring than we are able to provide in subcontracts. Thank you for your commitment to this effort.