Date of this Version
In August and September 1989 and 1990, we aerially sprayed 8 cattail (Typha spp.) marshes with Rodeo® herbicide to begin evaluating its use for fragmenting dense cattail stands used by roosting blackbirds (Icterinae). Treated marshes were effectively eliminated as roost sites for blackbirds. After 2 years, cattail densities in 4 marshes treated with Rodeo® at 5.8 - 7.0 L/ha were 87% lower than pretreatment densities (P = 0.0001). In 1990, we treated 4 marshes with Rodeo® at 4.7 L/ha. One year later, 6% of the cattails survived in the sprayed areas. Of 7 groups of "indicator birds," only marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris) and rail (sora, Porzana Carolina and Virginia rail, Rallus limicola) populations were adversely affected by cattail fragmentation. These preliminary results led to an increased research effort to develop marsh management techniques aimed at eliminating blackbird roosts.