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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Long-term effects of oak savanna restoration by a prescribed burning on breeding bird communities in Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA

Published source details

Davis M.A., Peterson D.W., Reich P.B., Crozier M., Query T., Mitchell E., Huntington J. & Bazakas P. (2000) Restoring savanna using fire: Impact on the breeding bird community. Restoration Ecology, 8, 30-40


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 savannas Bird Conservation

At Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA (Davis et al. 2000), a replicated controlled study of oak savanna restoration by prescribed burning (initiated in 1964) found that ‘open country’ bird abundance increased as restoration progressed. Seven units (8-18 ha) were subject to one of seven burn frequencies, ranging from nearly every year to no burning over the previous 31 years. Burns were conducted in spring (except two in late summer). Bird species richness in the two unburned units (17 and 23 species) was lower than that of two frequently burned units (30 and 32) in June 1995 and similar in 1996. As woodland became more open, upper tree canopy insectivores declined, whilst omnivorous birds, particularly ground and lower canopy foragers increased. Woodpeckers increased as standing dead tree abundance increased.