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Burning for birds: concepts and applicationsAuthor(s): R. Todd Engstrom; David J. Brownlie
Source: In: Ford, W. Mark; Russell, Kevin R.; Moorman, Christopher E., eds. Proceedings: the role of fire for nongame wildlife management and community restoration: traditional uses and new directions. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-288. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 58-64.
Publication Series: Other
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionPrescribed fire is being used extensively for habitat management of non-game birds, although the area burned today is small relative to the amount of land that burned historically. Results of a non-scientific questionnaire of public and private land managers in the eastern U.S. revealed prescribed fire is being used to provide winter, breeding season, and migration habitat for at least 57 species of birds in 29 states. Increasingly sophisticated application of fire will be necessary to manage habitat for diverse bird species and other organisms. Contemporary training courses on the use of prescribed fire typically divide ecological effects of fire on animals into two categories: direct effects alter the animals' physical condition and indirect effects are mainly associated with changes in habitat. The envirogram, a conceptual tool developed by Andrewartha and Birch (1984) within their theory of the environment, can be used to diagram multiple direct and indirect effects of fire on bird species. Variables of prescribed fire (i.e., ignition pattern, season, frequency, etc.) can be matched within the envirogram to achieve the desired management objectives for individual species. We used a modified envirogram to examine how prescribed fire is used in intensive management for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) within the Red Hills of north Florida and south Georgia. A coarse-grained approach to management involving multiple species or an ecosystem may be more efficient and sustainable than emphasis on a single species.
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CitationEngstrom, R. Todd; Brownlie, David J. 2002. Burning for birds: concepts and applications. In: Ford, W. Mark; Russell, Kevin R.; Moorman, Christopher E., eds. Proceedings: the role of fire for nongame wildlife management and community restoration: traditional uses and new directions. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-288. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 58-64.
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