Habitat suitability of the yellow rail in south-central Manitoba
Little is known about the distribution and habitat suitability of yellow rails (Coturnicops noveboracensis) throughout their breeding range. Yellow rail and vegetation surveys were conducted at 80 wetlands in south-central Manitoba in 2010-2011 to evaluate the effectiveness of repeat-visit, call-broadcast night surveys for detecting this species and habitat associations of this species at the 3-km landscape, patch, and plot scales. Yellow rails were detected at 44% of the study wetlands. Yellow rail detection was imperfect (0.63 in each year), but call-broadcast increased the number of yellow rails detected. Future yellow rail survey efforts should employ call-broadcast and at least three surveys per survey point. Yellow rail presence was positively influenced by the amount of marsh/fen in the landscape and the proportion of rushes at the study wetlands. These characteristics should be considered when identifying potential yellow rail habitat in south-central Manitoba.
yellow rail, Coturnicops noveboracensis, wetland, marsh bird, call-broadcast, habitat selection, species-at-risk, Manitoba