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23 December 2021 Eastern Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) Home Range and Habitat Use in Late Winter and Early Breeding Season in Coastal Texas, USA
Amanda A. Haverland, M. Clay Green, Floyd Weckerly, Jennifer K. Wilson
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Abstract

Habitat use by the Eastern Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) in coastal Texas, USA is poorly understood. To provide data for effective management of the subspecies in Texas, home range size was estimated and habitat use was examined. From February-May of 2017 and 2018, regular locations of 13 radio-transmitted Eastern Black Rails were obtained at San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, Texas. The mean fixed kernel home range for birds with ≥ 24 relocations was 2.3 ha, with a mean core area of 0.43 ha. Average 95% MCP home range was 0.98 ha with a mean core area of 0.12 ha. During radio tracking, an Eastern Black Rail nest was found on 19 March 2018, the earliest on record for the state. Birds used the Salt and Brackish High Tidal Marsh, Salty Prairie, and Baccharis (Baccharis spp.) Shrubland, and avoided Salt and Brackish Low Tidal Marsh. Home ranges contained a gently sloping elevation gradient suggesting the importance of on-foot access to higher ground. Protection and restoration of Salty Prairie, and Salt and Brackish High Tidal Marsh is recommended for maintaining Eastern Black Rail populations in coastal Texas.

Amanda A. Haverland, M. Clay Green, Floyd Weckerly, and Jennifer K. Wilson "Eastern Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis) Home Range and Habitat Use in Late Winter and Early Breeding Season in Coastal Texas, USA," Waterbirds 44(2), 222-233, (23 December 2021). https://doi.org/10.1675/063.044.0209
Received: 4 June 2020; Accepted: 15 July 2021; Published: 23 December 2021
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KEYWORDS
Black Rail
habitat use
home range
Laterallus jamaicensis jamaicensis
radio telemetry
Texas coastal marsh
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