Introduction

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Wyckoff, A. 1985. Population assessment Calcarius ornatus (chestnut-collared longspurs), felton prairie, Minnesota. Final report submitted to the Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program, Department of Natural Resources. 33 pp.

Introduction:

Calcarius ornatus, Chestnut-collared Longspurs, are ground nesting prairie passerines whose reproductive range extends across the prairie provinces of Southern Canada and the northern prairie states. This species formerly occurred widely in Western Minnesota and throughout North Dakota, however, its population numbers have declined drastically in the eastern parts of its range since the early 1900's. Presently, this species is considered rare and endangered in Minnesota, with known persisting populations centered east and southeast of the Fargo area.

The largest population of Chestnut-collared Longspurs persisting in Minnesota is located at Felton Prairie, in Clay County, however, details regarding the species status at this site were not known. An assessment of this population -- its specific location, size, and ecological needs -- was necessary in order to make appropriate management decisions to insure future preservation of this breeding site.

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