thumbnail

Relating Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) occupancy to habitat and landscape features in the context of fire

Waterbirds

By:
,
DOI: 10.1675/063.036.0209

Links

Abstract

The Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) is a focal species of concern associated with shallowly flooded emergent wetlands, most commonly sedge (Carex spp.) meadows. Their populations are believed to be limited by loss or degradation of wetland habitat due to drainage, altered hydrology, and fire suppression, factors that have often resulted in encroachment of shrubs into sedge meadows and change in vegetative cover. Nocturnal call-playback surveys for Yellow Rails were conducted over 3 years at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Effects of habitat structure and landscape variables on the probability of use by Yellow Rails were assessed at two scales, representing a range of home range sizes, using generalized linear mixed models. At the 163-m (8-ha) scale, year with quadratic models of maximum and mean water depths best explained the data. At the 300-m (28-ha) scale, the best model contained year and time since last fire (≤ 1, 2–5, and > 10 years). The probability of use by Yellow Rails was 0.285 ± 0.132 (SE) for points burned 2-5 years ago, 0.253 ± 0.097 for points burned ≤ 1 year ago, and 0.028 ± 0.019 for points burned > 10 years ago. Habitat differences relative to fire history and comparisons between sites with and without Yellow Rails indicated that Yellow Rails used areas with the deepest litter and highest ground cover, and relatively low shrub cover and heights, as well as landscapes having greater sedge-grass cover and less lowland woody or upland cover types. Burning every 2-5 years appears to provide the litter, ground-level cover, and woody conditions attractive to Yellow Rails. Managers seeking to restore and sustain these wetland systems would benefit from further investigations into how flooding and fire create habitat conditions attractive to breeding Yellow Rails

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Relating Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) occupancy to habitat and landscape features in the context of fire
Series title:
Waterbirds
DOI:
10.1675/063.036.0209
Volume
36
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Waterbird Society
Contributing office(s):
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description:
15 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Waterbirds
First page:
199
Last page:
213
Country:
United States
State:
Michigan
Other Geospatial:
Seney National Wildlife Refuge