Human subsidies have resulted in the rapid growth of populations of common ravens (Corvus corax) in the Mojave Desert. This is a management concern because ravens prey on threatened desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii). We conducted weekly counts for 29 months at 10 sites on the US Army's National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California to evaluate factors affecting the distribution of ravens. Raven abundance varied seasonally, diurnally, and with human abundance. It was greatest near resource subsidies, specifically the landfill and sewage ponds. Although other studies have documented heavy use of landfills by ravens, the use of sewage ponds had not been previously reported in the published literature. We suggest that raven management should focus on reducing access to anthropogenic resources. ?? 2006.
Additional publication details
Ecology of a population of subsidized predators: Common ravens in the central Mojave Desert, California