Fire and mammals
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): C. O. Handley
Publication Year: 1969

Cataloging Information

  • adaptation
  • Africa
  • arthropods
  • Asia
  • birds
  • browse
  • cover
  • Dendroica kirtlandii
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • evolution
  • fire adaptations (animals)
  • fire adaptations (plants)
  • forage
  • grasslands
  • grazing
  • habitat suitability
  • habits and behavior
  • insects
  • light
  • mammals
  • moisture
  • nesting
  • population ecology
  • small mammals
  • succession
  • temperature
  • wildlife food habits
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 36322
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10689
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text ... 'In the definition of ecological factors important to mammals fire usually has not been ranked with temperature, moisture, or light, or even with soil, shelter, or seasonality. However, fire and fire perpetuated environments, such as grasslands, have been of the utmost importance in the evolution of mammals, and directly or indirectly are a significant force in the lives of a large segment of today's mammals....How can an adaptation to fire be recognized? The behavioral adaptation is obvious enough among kites and eagles coursing over the fire front on an African prairie, capturing insects, birds, lizards and rodents flushed by the advancing fire. The Kirtland's warbler, nesting only in early stages of succession in jack pine forest is certainly adapted to fire. However, in most instances it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether a mammal is adapted to fire or to some aspect of its environment which is adapted to or perpetuated by fire....For most wild grassland mammals the primary factors related to fire are those concerned with habitat, food and feeding, and shelter and protection [author discusses aspects of fire hazards and methods of avoidance, grazing and browsing adaptations related to abrasive foods, and physiological and behavioral adaptations to seasonal fluctuation in availability of foods and cover, which are often related to burning, etc.'

Handley, C. O. 1969. Fire and mammals, Proceedings Annual [9th] Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference. Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Tallahassee, FL. p. 151-159,