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Tobias M. Rohmer

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The California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) lives in remnant tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay, where less than 20 percent of the historic tidal wetlands remain. Listed as an endangered species in 1970 by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), this enigmatic bird faces a myriad of threats, including habitat loss due to urban encroachment, sea-level rise caused by climate change, alteration of native habitats by invasive plants, non-native predators, and exposure to mercury and other pollutants. The FWS is in the process of revising the existing recovery plan for California clapper rails and is including the rail in a multispecies recovery plan directed towards imperiled salt-marsh ecosystems. Sound...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Endangered Species Bulletin
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California Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) have monomorphic plumage, a trait that makes identification of sex difficult without extensive behavioral observation or genetic testing. Using 31 Clapper Rails (22 females, 9 males), caught in south San Francisco Bay, CA, and using easily measurable morphological characteristics, we developed a discriminant function to distinguish sex. We then validated this function on 33 additional rails. Seven morphological measurements were considered, resulting in three which were selected in the discriminate function: culmen length, tarsometatarsus length, and flat wing length. We had no classification errors for the development or testing datasets either with resubstitution...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: North American Bird Bander
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Management actions to protect endangered species and conserve ecosystem function may not always be in precise alignment. Efforts to recover the California Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus obsoletus; hereafter, California rail), a federally and state-listed species, and restoration of tidal marsh ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay estuary provide a prime example of habitat restoration that has conflicted with species conservation. On the brink of extinction from habitat loss and degradation, and non-native predators in the 1990s, California rail populations responded positively to introduction of a non-native plant, Atlantic cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). California rail populations were in substantial decline...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology and Society
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