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Sierra Nevada Avian
Monitoring Information Network


Point Blue's Sierra Nevada Avian Monitoring Post Fire

Fire Project Background

In the Sierra Nevada considerable debate surrounds the management of land following wildfire. After over a century of fire suppression and possible effects from climate change, the area affected by wildfire has been increasing in the Sierra in recent years (Miller et al. 2008). Wildfires help shape the future landscape for decades following the event. Post-wildfire habitats are not catastrophic wastelands; they are a unique component of the ecosystem that supports a diverse, abundant and valuable wildlife community that should be considered in planning post-fire management. Thus, there is a growing need to understand the value of the habitats created by wildfire and the critical elements within burned areas. In 2009, Point Blue's Sierra Nevada Program began a study of the avian community in post-fire habitats in the Plumas and Lassen National Forests in Northeastern California. The primary objective of the study is to assess the influence of post-fire conditions on spatial and temporal variation in bird abundance and cavity nest use and feed this information back to forest managers in order to maintain avian diversity across multiple spatial scales. In 2014, we expanded to four more fires on the Tahoe, Eldorado and Stanislaus National Forests to look specifically at post-fire management and the effects of salvage logging.

Our focal species for this project include: Mountain Quail, Lewis' Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-headed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Williamson's Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Mountain Bluebird, Western Bluebird, MacGillivray's Warbler, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting, Chipping Sparrow, and Fox Sparrow.

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Partner Organizations:

Related Links:

See the following reports and literature for more information on study design, methods, results, and conclusions: