Research Topics Wildlife & Fish: Bird Monitoring
Predicting Effects of Trinity River Restoration on Bird Populations
Our goal is a predictive model of changes in bird
presence and abundance with the progression of riparian habitat
succession. This will provide a valuable tool for adaptive
In 1963, the Lewiston and Trinity dams were completed on the Trinity
River, greatly reducing the flow and altering the habitat, including
increased riparian habitat. One of the goals of the Trinity
River Restoration Program is to "restore the fish and wildlife
populations in the Trinity River Basin to levels which existed prior
to construction of the dams". The Program proposes to do this
by bank rehabilitation, including removal of large
areas of riparian habitat, and river flow manipulations that may
affect the wildlife species in the 63 km downstream of the dam.
Many of the birds in the basin depend on riparian habitats
along the river for reproduction and migration (Miller et al. 2004).
The breeding success and migration patterns of these birds are likely
to be affected by restoration activities that temporarily or permanently
alter the structural configuration, spatial distribution, and patterns
of succession in the riparian habitat.
In 1990, we established baseline information on the wildlife species,
including birds, in the Program area. Since 2002, we have been gathering
data to quantify the relative abundances and habitat relationship
patterns of bird species closely associated with riparian vegetation
in cooperation with the Klamath
Bird Observatory and others.
Together, these data sets have allowed development of a sampling
design for monitoring changes in the avian community. Monitoring
results can then be used for adaptive management, a key element
of the Program’s strategy.
Reports and Publications:
Miller, Sherri L., C. John Ralph, and Pablo A. Herrera. 2002. Trinity
River Restoration Program avian monitoring - 2002 report. Submitted
to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arcata Field Office and the
Trinity River Restoration Program Management Team. Unpublished report
available from U.S. Forest Service, Redwood Sciences Laboratory,
Miller, Sherri L., C. John Ralph, and Pablo Herrera. 2007.
Predicting changes in bird abundance caused by removal and succession
of riparian habitat (abstract). Proceedings of the First Annual
Science Symposium of the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP),
February 7-9, 2007, Weaverville, California.
Miller, Sherri L., C. John Ralph, Pablo Herrera, Bill Hogoboom.
bird abundance associated with Trinity River restoration. p.
32 in Kevin Shaffer, Ann Chrisney, and Lisa Owen Vianni, eds. Proceedings
of the Riparian Habitat Joint Venture Conference: Integrating Riparian
Habitat Conservation and Flood Management in California December
4-6, 2007; Sacramento, California. 115 p.
Last modified by L.L. Long