Ridgway's Rail Conservation

Clapper Rail Split

As of July 2014, the formerly called California Clapper Rail is now called the Ridgway's Rail. The American Ornithology Union approved this change due to new genetic studies that looked at the relatedness of big rails as described in an American Birding Association blog post.

Mangrove Rail (Rallus longirostris) Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus) Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans)

Recent genetic studies have looked at the relatedness of the New World “big rails”, what we have traditionally known as Clapper Rail and King Rail. King Rail was split into two species, and Clapper Rail into three. (For an article on the different “Clapper Rails” in the ABA Area, check out the Sep/Oct 2013 issue of Birding.) Finally, Robert Ridgway has an English bird name to celebrate his storied contributions to North American ornithology! Ridgway’s Rail includes the “California” (obsoletus), “Yuma” (yumanensis), and “Light-footed” (levipes) subspecies, plus others farther south in Mexico. Any “Clapper Rail” observed in California, Nevada, or Arizona is now this species. The name “Clapper Rail” was retained for the birds on the east coast of the U.S. (this species also extends partially into Middle America and the Caribbean), but its scientific name has changed. Mangrove Rail is thought to be restricted to coastal South America.

Free-Roaming Cat and Other Animal Feeding Prohibition

Beginning May 2008, the University instituted a prohibition on feeding free-roaming cats and other wildlife at the RFS as it was determined that feeding had become a significant source of predator pressure at the RFS. For more information, see the Prohibition on Feeding Free-Roaming Cats.

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