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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of prescribed fires on grassland use by wintering raptors on Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area, Texas, USA

Published source details

Chavez-Ramirez F. & Prieto F.G. (1994) Effects of prescribed fires on habitat use by wintering raptors on a Texas barrier island grassland. Journal of Raptor Research, 28, 262-265


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 before-and-after study on Matagorda Island, Texas, USA (Chavez-Ramirez & Prieto 1994), found that northern harrier Circus cyaneus hudsonius numbers decreased significantly on two winter-burned natural grassland plots (from 39 to 12 birds), whilst American kestrels Falco sparverius increased (from two to ten birds). Raptor use during the month before and after burning was assessed on two 140 ha plots (burned 4-5 January 1993), by one hour weekly counts (13 December 1992 to 14 February 1993). Surveys (2 December-7 February) across the whole island, found a non-significant increase in total raptor numbers, and of the two commonest species (northern harrier and American kestrel). Total raptor numbers using plots pre- and post-burn were similar but with slight (non-significant) decreases.