Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some desert birds less affected by wildfires and climate change

Date:
August 31, 2011
Source:
Baylor University
Summary:
A new study has found that some bird species in the desert southwest are less affected, and in some cases positively influenced, by widespread fire through their habitat. In fact, the researchers say that fire actually helps some bird species because of the habitat that is formed after a fire is positive for the bird's prey needs.

A new Baylor University study has found that some bird species in the desert southwest are less affected, and in some cases positively influenced, by widespread fire through their habitat. In fact, the Baylor researchers say that fire actually helps some bird species because of the habitat that is formed after a fire is positive for the bird's prey needs.

The study found that three specific bird species in the Chihuahuan Desert -- scaled Quail, Loggerhead Shrike and Rock Wren -- will be less affected by current and future wildfires because climate change will dry out the landscape, changing pine forests to uplands without trees and grasses, which provides fuel for wildfires. With the drying out of grasslands, the researchers say, the likelihood of widespread and intense wildfires will decrease over the next 50 years, as wildfires naturally occur and use up the current fuel base. The Baylor researchers also found that as the grasslands dry out, the birds will be able to forage for prey much easier.

"The results were somewhat surprising because the collective thought is that fire and climate change will have only negative effects on animals, but we found that is not the case with these bird species now or in the future around this area, " said study co-author Dr. Joseph White, professor of biology at Baylor who is a fire management expert. "Climate change affects the environment's processes and those processes affect different animals in different ways. In the case of these bird species, our predictive modeling shows it will affect them less than other animals, and we believe in some cases actually help them prosper."

To conduct the study, the Baylor researchers observed the birds over three years in their habitat at more than 70 locations in west Texas and eastern New Mexico as natural weather and climate patterns occurred. The researchers then used that data and combined it with satellite imagery and used a predictive model to calculate what will happen to the bird species over the next 50 years.

The results of the study appear online in the journal Conservation Biology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph D. White, Kevin J. Gutzwiller, Wylie C. Barrow, Lori Johnson-Randall, Lisa Zygo, Pamela Swint. Understanding Interaction Effects of Climate Change and Fire Management on Bird Distributions through Combined Process and Habitat Models. Conservation Biology, 2011; 25 (3): 536 DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01684.x

Cite This Page:

Baylor University. "Some desert birds less affected by wildfires and climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719111704.htm>.
Baylor University. (2011, August 31). Some desert birds less affected by wildfires and climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719111704.htm
Baylor University. "Some desert birds less affected by wildfires and climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110719111704.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins