USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Wildlife & Fish

Effects of Fire and Sudden Oak Death on Bird Communities

Fires, diebacks from tree disease, other landscape-modifying events and the subsequent habitat succession effects bird communities. We are comparing bird census data fortuitously taken before these events with new data taken afterwards.

Census data on the bird communities in and near these events have been taken for some years with a standardized format by various agencies, organizations, university personnel, and others, before, during, and after these events. We have compiled this historic data (Hogoboom et al 2002) and, in cooperation with the Klamath Bird Observatory, we are now conducting monitoring in a systematic manner after such events occur (primarily fire) throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou region.

Fire is arguably the most dramatic, and perhaps the most pervasive, event both spatially and temporally. Within the Megram / Onion Fires of the fall of 1999, we had previously located more than 100 stations censused over the past several years in and near the fire that burned 125,000 acres within the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National Forests, containing both managed and wilderness-designated forests. This is just one of many areas where we have had survey stations that were in or near a subsequent fire.

Description of changes in avifaunal communities at the species or guild level during the first several years following these fires is providing valuable information for post-wildfire (and comparable habitat alteration) management of National Forests. This natural (and rare) occurrence of an opportunity to directly compare pre- and post-wildfire bird census data was an extremely cost-effective study.

Reports and Publications
Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 11:26:08 AM