During 1969 and 1970, surveys of the endangered Yuma Clapper Rail were conducted using taped calls to elicit responses from the birds. During the two summers, more than 158 Yuma clappers were located in cattailtule marshes along the Colorado River south of Needles, California, to the International Boundary, a distance of about 240 miles. Clappers (probably of the same race) were also found in estuarian marshes of the Colorado River Delta of Mexico; in the Salton Sea; in two freshwater marsh areas near Phoenix, Arizona; and in two freshwater marshes adjacent to the lower Gila River near Tacna, Arizona.....Populations of Sonora Clapper Rails were discovered as permanent residents in five separate mangrove swamps along the west coast of Mexico in the vicinity of Kino Bay, Sonora. These observations were farther north than any heretofore reported for the race R. l. rhizophorae, and the swamps also represent the extreme northward limit of mangroves in Sonora.....During the winter, Yuma clappers did not respond to taped calls north of the International Boundary, whereas clappers along the coast of Sonora readily answered the calls during the same period of time. We conclude that most Yuma Clapper Rails migrate from their summer habitat along the Colorado River in September and do not return to the breeding areas until late April.
Additional Publication Details
Distribution of two western clapper rail races as determined by responses to taped calls