MOUNTAIN QUAIL (OREORTYX PICTUS) HABITAT USE IN RESPONSE TO FOREST MANAGEMENT IN THE GREATER CRYSTAL BASIN AREA OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
|Slaney C Stringer; Chico State University; email@example.com;|
Forest management has become an increasingly crucial topic over the last several decades as incidence and severity of wildfires has increased, particularly in the Western United States. In response to this, several techniques (thinning, mastication, and controlled burns) have been used to convert dense, hazardous forests into more healthy, multi-stage environments. These methods allow for successional growth of smaller vegetation which creates habitat that is beneficial for ground dwelling species like mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus). This study seeks to determine the habitat preferences and movement patterns of these birds in northern California to determine how factors such as fire, elevation, vegetation, and sex affect their populations and home ranges. Quail in the Crystal Basin area will be captured and fitted with transmitters in order to track their movements via telemetry. DNA analysis on blood and/or feather samples will be completed to determine their sex. The data collected will provide wildlife managers with an accurate picture of the preferences and behaviors of mountain quail. As climate change continues affecting these woodland environments, it is crucial to understand more about these birds so appropriate and sustainable management techniques can be applied to preserving their species and the forests as a whole.