Do prescribed fires kill wildlife?

Prescribed Fire April 01, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Rarely are wildlife directly killed by a prescribed fire. Most wildlife are able to leave an area before it burns. Fossorial species retreat underground as the fire passes. However, there are some species, such as those that are less mobile, that are more susceptible to direct mortality. Generally, reptiles and amphibians are more at risk than mammals or birds. Fire can indirectly impact wildlife either positively or negatively by changing plant community composition and structure.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.