ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreG - 200,000-2,500,000 km squared (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Comment300,494 square kilometers based on Natural Heritage Program range maps that appear on the Montana Field Guide
Area of Occupancy
ScoreU - Unknown
ScoreD - Moderate Decline (decline of 25-50%)
CommentGrassland habitats have been heavily impacted since European arrival and species has probably declined by 25-50% over this time period.
ScoreE - Stable. Population, range, area occupied, and/or number or condition of occurrences unchanged or remaining within ±10% fluctuation
CommentBreeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for Montana is of moderate credibility and shows an insignificant trend of -0.8% decrease per year or 2% decrease per decade. Saskatchewan and Alberta show moderate credibility significant declines of around 10% per year or -91% per decade. Trends on North Valley County Point Counts between 2001 and 2008 showed a 2% per year increase in the percent of points the species was detected on and a 9% per year increase in the number of birds.
ScoreB - Moderate and imminent threat. Threat is moderate to severe and imminent for a significant proportion (20-60%) of the population or area.
CommentPlowing, use of pesticides, and control of fires probably represent the biggest threats to the species. Species breeding range is drastically reduced and local abundances within current breeding range are probably lower than in historic range probably due to loss of buffalo and natural fire regime and plowing of native prairie. Species is dependent on grazing and fire as natural disturbance regimes that create their preferred short grass habitat.
SeverityModerate - Major reduction of species population or long-term degradation or reduction of habitat in Montana, requiring 50-100 years for recovery.
CommentSpecies seems capable of responding quickly to restored disturbances, but sod busting seems to be a long term challenge for recovery.
ScopeModerate - 20-60% of total population or area affected
CommentUncertain if 20% of grassland habitats would be lost in next 15 years, but species experts agree that the species faces threats across large portion of range.
ImmediacyModerate - Threat is likely to be operational within 2-5 years.
ScoreC - Not Intrinsically Vulnerable. Species matures quickly, reproduces frequently, and/or has high fecundity such that populations recover quickly (< 5 years or 2 generations) from decreases in abundance; or species has high dispersal capability such that extirpated populations soon become reestablished through natural recolonization (unaided by humans).
CommentNot Intrinsically Vulnerable. Species matures quickly, reproduces frequently, and/or has a high fecundity such that populations recover quickly (< 5 years or 2 generations) from decreases in abundance. Species has good dispersal capabilities such that extirpated populations generally become reestablished through natural recolonization.
ScoreB - Narrow. Specialist. Specific habitat(s) or other abiotic and/or biotic factors (see above) are used or required by the Element, but these key requirements are common and within the generalized range of the species within the area of interest.
CommentNarrow specialist. Dependent on shortgrass prairie (grass height of <12 inches with < 8 inches probably ideal for nesting).
Raw Conservation Status Score
3.5 + 0.0 (geographic distribution) + 0.0 (environmental specificity) + 0.0 (short-term trend) - 0.75 (threats) = 2.75
How Scores are Calculated