Restoring savanna using fire: Impact on the breeding bird community

  • Published source details Davis M.A., Peterson D.W., Reich P.B., Crozier M., Query T., Mitchell E., Huntington J. & Bazakas P. (2000) Restoring savanna using fire: Impact on the breeding bird community. Restoration Ecology, 8, 30-40.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning on savannas

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning on savannas

    At Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA (Davis et al. 2000), a replicated controlled study of oak savanna restoration by prescribed burning (initiated in 1964) found that ‘open country’ bird abundance increased as restoration progressed. Seven units (8-18 ha) were subject to one of seven burn frequencies, ranging from nearly every year to no burning over the previous 31 years. Burns were conducted in spring (except two in late summer). Bird species richness in the two unburned units (17 and 23 species) was lower than that of two frequently burned units (30 and 32) in June 1995 and similar in 1996. As woodland became more open, upper tree canopy insectivores declined, whilst omnivorous birds, particularly ground and lower canopy foragers increased. Woodpeckers increased as standing dead tree abundance increased.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 20

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered speciesVincet Wildlife Trust