Effects of restoring oak savanna on bird communities and populations

  • Published source details Brawn J.D. (2006) Effects of restoring oak savanna on bird communities and populations. Conservation Biology, 20, 460-469.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning on savannas

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning on savannas

    A replicated, paired study in oak Quercus spp. savanna in Illinois, USA (Brawn 2006), found that bird community composition was significantly different in areas with prescribed burning compared to closed-canopy oak forest. Of the 31 bird species analysed, 12 were more common in burned savanna and five more common in unburned forest. Twelve savanna sites maintained by burns (spring, autumn or both, on a 3-5 year rotation, with periodic removal of Acer spp. and European buckthorn Rhamnus catharticus) were paired with 12 forest sites (no burning for over 50 years). Point counts were conducted for 3-5 years (between 25 May-10 July 1995-1999) to assess bird abundance. There was no effect of burning on brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater.


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