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Black Rail metapopulation dynamics

Principal Investigator: Steven Beissinger

We are extending our long-term study of the mechanisms that account for differing patterns of colonization and extinction dynamics exhibited by sympatric metapopulations of Black and Virginia Rails.

These extremely cryptic marsh birds inhabit the same wetlands and have similar life histories, but appear to differ greatly in their vagility based on turnover patterns implied from analyses of presence-absence data.

Over the next four years we will:

  1. track metapopulation dynamics caused by an ongoing severe drought by continuing our annual surveys of presence-absence at over 200 wetlands and
  2. monitor for the occurrence of rails and other marsh birds of concern using automated audio recorders.

Click HERE for more information about this project.