Bird use of restored wetlands on Conservation Reserve Program land
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From a conservation standpoint, the establishment of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was one of the most significant aspects of the 1985 Food Security Act. Although most of the highly erodible land set aside for ten years in CRP is planted to various upland plants, wetlands are an accepted land use under the program. Because wetlands are one of the most endangered wildlife habitats in North America, and in Iowa in particular, this provision of CRP substantially enhances its value as a conservation program. Nationwide, about 53% of wetlands have been lost; in Iowa more than 90% have been drained for agricultural use. In the north-central states, wetland loss has seriously reduced populations of waterfowl and numerous nongame wildlife species, including birds, insects, and plants.