Conservation Reserve Program - CP33–Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds - Bird Monitoring and Evaluation Plan 2006–2011 Final Report

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a suite of Farm Bill conservation programs and practices that provide incentives to enhance environmental quality on privately-owned agricultural lands. In 2004, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) initiated conservation practice Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds (CP33) under  the continuous sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to target recovery of northern bobwhite (Colinus virgianianus) and other upland bird species in row-crop  agricultural landscapes. This was the first CRP practice designed specifically to help meet recovery objectives of a large-scale wildlife conservation initiative and the first to  require a wildlife monitoring component as part of its practice directive. The FSA initially allocated 250,000 CP33 acres to 35 states (increased to 350,000 acres in 2010) to be actively managed over a period of 10 years and charged the Southeast Quail Study Group (SEQSG, now National Bobwhite Technical Committee) with development of a coordinated CP33 monitoring protocol to generate measures of population response for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and other priority bird species at multiple spatial scales.

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