Calcarius ornatus breeds in the Great Plains (north and central USA) and the Canadian Prairie Provinces (southern central Canada), and winters in south-central and south-western USA and north-central Mexico2. It has undergone long-term population declines so that it is now rare or extirpated as a breeding species in a number of States formerly occupied. Breeding Bird Survey data record significant declines since 1980 in South Dakota which remains a stronghold of the species. Given that populations already have been drastically reduced in neighbouring Minnesota and Nebraska, South Dakota populations, in particular, should be closely monitored2. Its decline measured by the Breeding Bird Survey equates to 7.4% per year (53.5% per decade) over 1993-2002, 3.9% per year (32.8% per decade) over 1980-2002, and 2.4% per year (31.6% per decade) over 1966-2002.
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