RESILIENCE IN ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES: MONITORING WILDLIFE RECOVERY POST MEGAFIRE.
Kendall L. Calhoun; UC Berkeley; 2216 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704; (209) 879-3995; kendallcalhoun@berkeley.edu; Justin Brashares
Megafire is one of the many ways global change has disturbed ecosystems in the western US, with catastrophic consequences for both wildlife and humans. The 2018 Mendocino Complex fire, now the largest fire in California history, is a striking example of this. The River Fire, part of the larger Mendocino complex, burned 3,000 acres of the Hopland Research and Extension Center. Hopland lies at the interface between wilderness and human development and houses a variety of ranching activities as well as a diverse community of wildlife. The goal of this project is to understand how megafire impacts habitat usage and recovery of wildlife communities within this mixed use space. Using wildlife monitoring techniques (camera traps/acoustic equipment) I record species distributions of mammals and birds across the burned landscape. Using these observations, I plan to analyze how patch size and connectivity across the burned landscape may influence recovery. In conjunction with pre-burn data, I will also use multi-species models to compare community composition before and after the fire. The reestablishment of species may be critical for maintaining long term resilience within the system. These findings will inform future conservation and management decisions in preparation for future environmental shocks.
Poster Session   Student Paper