CALIFORNIA BLACK RAIL (LATERALLUS JAMAICENSIS COTURNICULUS) RESPONSE TO MARSH ENHANCEMENT AT POINT PINOLE REGIONAL SHORELINE, CALIFORNIA
|David L Riensche; East Bay Regional Park District, ; firstname.lastname@example.org;
California Back Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) is the smallest rail in North America and is largely a resident of fresh, brackish and saltwater wetlands. Due to habitat degradation and destruction, this species is listed as a threatened species in California. Protecting and managing its breeding habitat and restoring adjacent suitable marsh sites are strategies to help its population recover. Habitat enhancement efforts by staff and volunteers of the East Bay Regional Park District at Giant Marsh in Richmond, California have been improving conditions for this native species since 2004. Analysis of systematically obtained call count data, collected there during the breeding seasons of 2013 through 2021 is showing a positive trend of increasing California Black Rails, as compared to the first baseline information collected in 1977 at this location. Field research also is showing that the rail population is now four times higher at this site and that they are typically confined to high marsh habitat, at the upper limits of tidal flooding. Analyzing these trends occurring within Giant Marsh at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline is providing important information that will aid recovery efforts designed to preserve and manage breeding habitat for this threatened species.