Ecology and Conservation of the Species
Human activities have been changing the grassland habitat areas of the Henslow’s Sparrow making it difficult for the sparrow to adapt.
Urbanization and industrialization are degrading and using up the land the sparrows use for their survival.
Additionally, fires due to lightening and human activities make unsuitable habitats of the Henslow’s Sparrow.
Predators eat the eggs of the Henslow’s Sparrow, which lowers the sparrow’s fertility rate and overall population.
The Audubon Society’s Watchlist status for the Henslow’s Sparrow is at the highest threat level with a red status indicating the bird is a threatened species due to rapidly declining and/or a reduced population, limited habitat, endangered with respect to global conservation.
The primary threats to the Henslow’s Sparrow are habitat loss and degradation, catastrophic disturbances, increases mortality, and predators.
The conservation strategy for the Henslow’s Sparrow is mainly focused on preserving its breeding habitats. The sparrow requires large grassland areas to breed, build their nests, parent their young and survive. Urbanization and mismanaged grassland management is fragmenting the sparrow’s habitat making them easier for predators to prey on them which lowers their population.
Environmentalists are attempting to identify and document the lands that the Henslow’s Sparrow are using and educate farmers and private owner’s grassland management practices, such as proper times to mow grass, lighter grazing of livestock, and how to burn grassland areas to benefit the sparrows. Prior to the urban sprawl and farming, the Henslow’s Sparrows lived in large grassland areas that were subject to wildfires. Now their habitats are fragmented and fires are rare. Steps are being taken to utilize proper fire management to help protect and sustain the Henslow’s Sparrow.Continued on the next page