Demographic Performance of Prairie-nesting Shorebirds and Raptors in North Dakota (SWG T-8-R)

Publication cover

Authors and Contributors

Scott Stephens, Ducks Unlimited


Research papers

Research Category


Target Species

Marbled Godwit, Upland Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, Willet, Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl

Approximate Completion Date




SWG shorebirds raptors nesting prairie


Several shorebird species have been identified as Level I priority conservation concerns along with grassland nesting raptors in the Level II priority under the North Dakota Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. Unfortunately, little information exists to guide management efforts aimed at maintaining healthy populations of these priority species. As a result, this research was designed to obtain information about how habitat and landscape factors influence reproductive success for shorebirds and raptors in North Dakota. Beginning in 2000, we have collected data on nest survival of willets, marbled godwits, upland sandpipers, Wilson’s Phalaropes, Northern Harriers and Short-eared owls. This data was used to develop models of nesting success based on habitat and landscape characteristics. These models were then translated into Geographic Information Systems to develop targeting maps of areas where conservation work will have the greatest impact on population persistence for shorebirds and raptors.