Provide supplementary food after fire
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
This intervention specifically covers cases where supplementary food is provided in an attempt to offset threats associated with fire. Natural or prescribed fires, whilst being integral parts of some ecosystems, can temporarily reduce or remove available food. Supplementary food may be provided for rare or otherwise valued mammal species.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2005–2009 of woodland in Georgia, USA (Morris et al. 2011) found that supplementary feeding did not increase survival rates of hispid cotton rats Sigmodon hispidus following prescribed fire. Survival rates over a 13-week post-fire period during which supplementary food was offered (0.02–0.04) were similar to those with no supplementary food offered (0.02–0.04). Eight plots (40 ha each) were studied. Four plots (exclosures) were surrounded by electric fencing to deter predator entry. All plots were burned in February of 2005, 2007, and 2009. From June 2007 to August 2009, two exclosures and two non-fenced plots received supplementary feed of rabbit chow. No food was provided at the other four plots. Pairs of grids were live-trapped four times/year from January 2005 to June 2007 and eight times/year from July 2007 to June 2009.Study and other actions tested