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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 

Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P07) Agricultural Neonicotinoid Use and Common Grackle Decline in Central Illinois

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AUTHORS. Noah P. Horsley; Michael P. Ward; Thomas J. Benson – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT. The Common Grackle was once one of the most abundant bird species in the Midwest, numbering almost 200 million individuals as recently as 1960 (Sauer et al. 2017). However, steady decline over the past 40 years has reduced this figure by 60%, to roughly 73 million. This makes the Common Grackle one of the most rapidly declining common birds in America (NABCI 2014). Interestingly, the most precipitous decline began around 2000 in the intensely agricultural eastern tallgrass prairie region. This coincided with the mainstream adoption of neonicotinoid seed treatments in U.S. agriculture. Neonicotinoids, currently the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide, have been connected to avian declines in Europe and the United States (Stanton & Clark 2018).  We are investigating a possible causal relationship between neonicotinoid seed treatments and Common Grackle decline by studying the nest success and post-fledgling survival of Common Grackles nesting in agricultural landscapes. In our first of two field seasons (2018), we monitored 56 nests across three sites in Champaign County, IL. From these nests, we banded 50 nestlings and tracked the activity and survival of 22 fledglings using hand-held and automated telemetry. Reproductive success will be evaluated by estimating nest success using a logistic exposure model and post-fledgling survival using a known-fate mark-recapture model. We expect the results of this study will serve as a foundation for investigating the role agricultural neonicotinoid use may be playing in Common Grackle decline.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
SUPERIOR BALLROOM C/D

Attendees (5)