Avian Response to Grassland Fires Research
California grasslands are recognized as crucial habitat for maintaining biodiversity. Today, California grasslands and the species they support are under continued pressure from human population growth and incursion, land development, and climate change. Prescribed burning is one important management action for many California grasslands, which may help to remove non-native species, reduce thatch and improve growing conditions.
As part of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s long-term plan to manage grassland vegetation by burning in conjunction with other methods, areas of the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve are regularly burned. In order to monitor bird response to prescribed burns and understand the impact such management actions have on wildlife, in 2009, we partnered with the Open Space District to begin a five year study at Russian Ridge and are currently updating our analysis.