Fire Suppression’s Effect on Habitats

Fire suppression has changed the habitats of 2 endangered birds the Golden-cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo.  The Black-capped Vireo has seen significant reductions in habitat due to human impacts.

Specifically, in the suppression of natural fire regimes, the Black-capped Vireo (BCV) have suffered massive habitat loss.  With fire suppresion the landscape is free to yield mature woodlands. Appropriate BCV habitat is mid-successional scrubby oak vegetation in transition to domination by large trees.  Areas of habitat therefore pass through periods of suitability and unsuitability.   Especially during breeding season, BCVs prefer shrubby growth of irregular height and distribution with small thickets and clumps with high density vegetative cover extending to ground level.

Natural fires assure creation of appropriate habitat for the Black-capped Vireo.  Landscapes recovering from fire undergo a sequence of changes or stages of different vegetation types prior to the re-establishment old-growth forest.

black capped vireo

Endangered Black-capped Vireo