Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite) respond favorably to frequent disturbances in most physiographic regions of their population distribution. These disturbances maintain the vegetative composition and structure needed for survival and reproduction. Prescribed fire is an important habitat management tool if used according to proper prescriptions and objectives. However, under certain conditions, prescribed fire may have deleterious effects on populations and individuals. We describe a single observation of an individual Bobwhite killed by a prescribed fire event. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of its kind in the scientific literature. We believe this occurrence is uncommon under most conditions while conducting prescribed fires, However, managers should consider the fuel conditions, weather variables, and scale of fire before conducting prescribed fires for Bobwhite habitat enhancement. Based on this observation, other upland birds may be susceptible to direct mortality from prescribed fire events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics