Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mad cow disease-- good for grassland birds?

Mad cow disease is good for grassland birds: Exploring novel socioeconomic links to wildlife ecology

Results/Conclusions from their experiments:

We found support that included a one-year lag between each step wherein: 1) imports increase and exports decrease in response to BSE outbreaks in the previous year, 2) the hay harvest in North America is then reduced two years after the outbreak as fewer cattle remain in North America, which ultimately yields 3) a positive response in grassland bird populations in the year after hay harvest reduction – three years after the BSE outbreak. Our results illustrate the importance of socioeconomics in conserving North American avifauna – such knowledge will allow us to improve management recommendations and better predict future periods of adversity to bird populations.

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