Clapper Rail Breeding Season Begins February 1

February 4, 2008

The breeding sesaon for the endangered California clapper rail (Railus longirostris obsoletus) begins on February 1 and continues until August 31 each year. The clapper rail is a medium-sized bird that inhabits salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay. This once abundant bird has become endangered due to loss of salt marsh habitat, hunting, and predation by feral cats, red foxes and rats. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are only around 1,000 clapper rails remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Rails prefer the dense cordgrass habitat found in Western Stege Marsh at the RFS. Current restoration activities in the marsh area are designed to create more habitat for this species. During the breeding season it is prohibited to disturb the rail. You may not approach within 200 feet of clapper rail breeding habitat (excluding the Bay Trail and connector trails) without the permission of the Office of Environment, Health & Safety). For more information on the California clapper rail, go to the Restoration page on this website or call EH&S (642-3073).