Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Impact of prescribed summer and winter burns on vegetation and spring abundance of birds in Spartina-Paspalum grassland at Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area, Texas, USA

Published source details

Hull J.T.V, Lutz R.S. & Matthews N.E. (1997) Impact of prescribed burning on vegetation and bird abundance at Matagorda Island, Texas. Journal of Range Management, 50, 346-350


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use prescribed burning on grasslands Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in March-May 1993-1994 on Matagorda Island, Texas, USA (Hull et al. 1997), found few differences in spring bird abundance in cordgrass Spartina-dune paspalum Paspalum monostachyum grassland subject to summer compared to winter burns. Six 122 ha plots were established each year: two unburned; two burned late August (1992-1993); and two in January (1993-1994). Wrens (Troglodytidae) were consistently most abundant in unburned plots (21-28 birds/40 ha in unburned areas vs. 2-3 for summer burn and 1 for winter burn); 18-22 months after burning wren abundance increased but was still less than within unburned plots. Sparrows (Emberizinae) were most abundant on burn plots both 6-10 months (unburned: 3-8 birds/40 ha vs. summer burn: 16-19; winter burn: 11-16) and 18-22 months post-burn.