Survival of the endangered Light-footed Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus levipes) depends on marsh conservation and restoration efforts that supply suitable nesting habitat. Previous research indicates that rails preferentially nest in low marsh areas with tall, dense Spartina foliosa (Pacific cordgrass). While canopy architecture (e.g. height and density) is important, additional microhabitat and landscape-level metrics may be involved in nest-site selection. This project characterized microhabitat parameters (e.g. vegetation and food availability) and landscape-level parameters (e.g. spatial configuration) for 40 nests and 40 non-nest sites in two California wetlands, Upper Newport Bay and the Tijuana Slough, to identify habitat features that predict reproductive success. Assessment of the microhabitat and landscape-level parameters suggests that vegetation structure (e.g. height, stem density) is important, but that invertebrate density and composition, tidal connectivity, and elevation are also important to Light-footed Ridgway’s Rail nesting.
|Advisor:||Whitcraft, Christine R.|
|Commitee:||Lowe, Christopher G., Zembal, Richard|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Ecology|
|Keywords:||California, Endangered species, Light-footed Ridgway's rail, Nesting ecology, Wetlands|
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