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Project ID: 03-3-2-07

Year: 2003

Date Started: 08/18/2003

Date Completed: 01/31/2007

Title: Fire Effects on Yuma Clapper Rails and California Black Rails on the Lower Colorado River

Project Proposal Abstract: The Yuma clapper rail (Rallus longirostrisyumanensis) is a federally endangered species that occurs in wetlands in Arizona, Nevada, and southern California. Ninety percent of the U.S. population exists in only 2 wetland complexes. The California black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) is federally endangered in Mexico, is state threatened or endangered in California and Arizona, and is a species of national management concern in the U.S. To ensure long-term persistence of these two rare birds, we need to take immediate action with on-the- ground efforts to restore remaining wetlands. Wildiand fires are common in wetlands along the Lower Colorado River and prescribed burning is being used or proposed by federal agencies to manage wetlands and control catastrophic fire risk in the region. However, fire effects on these rare and endangered birds has not been evaluated, and hence, permits to conduct prescribed burns have been denied. We propose to evaluate the effects of fire on Yuma clapper rails and California black rails in the southwestern U.S. We will utilize a BACI (Before-After-Control-Impact) experimental design to assess the effects of fire on bird abundance, preferred habitat, and food availability. We will collaborate with land managers, fire specialists, and research scientists in the region from USFWS, AGFD, USGS, BLM, and BOR. This project addresses the needs outlined in Task Statements 2 and 3 of AFP2003-3. The results of the project will help determine whether prescribed fire can be used as a management tool in wetlands in the southwestern U.S. to enhance rail habitat without adversely affecting endemic endangered and threatened birds using those wetlands. The results will also ensure that land manager's proposed (and current) management activities do not adversely affect populations of these endangered birds.

Principal Investigator: Courtney J. Conway

Agency/Organization: University of Idaho

Branch or Dept: Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Federal Cooperator

Courtney J. Conway

University of Idaho

Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network



There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    2470 Journal Article Multiple publications
    3358 Journal Article Final Technical Report
    1111 Conference/Symposia/Workshop 4 workshops
  go to website 1112 Website  
    1113 Invited Paper/Presentation PowerPoint Presentation, poster and 11 presentations

Supporting Documents

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