The role of fire in sustaining northern goshawk habitat in Rocky Mountain forests
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Russell T. Graham; Theresa B. Jain; Richard T. Reynolds; Douglas A. Boyce Jr.
Editor(s): Jason M. Greenlee
Publication Year: 1997

Cataloging Information

  • Abies magnifica
  • Accipiter gentilis
  • Accipiter spp.
  • birds
  • catastrophic fires
  • Colorado
  • coniferous forests
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • fire adaptations (plants)
  • fire dependent species
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire regimes
  • forage
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • Idaho
  • landscape ecology
  • Larix occidentalis
  • Larix spp.
  • mammals
  • nesting
  • New Mexico
  • nongame birds
  • openings
  • Picea sitchensis
  • pine hardwood forests
  • Pinus albicaulis
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • post fire recovery
  • predation
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • raptors
  • regeneration
  • Sequoia sempervirens
  • small mammals
  • surface fires
  • Tsuga heterophylla
  • Tsuga spp.
  • understory vegetation
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 2, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 37855
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12376
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


The northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), is a northern latitude, forest dwelling raptor. In the Western United States, goshawks live in most forests, including those dominated by western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.ex.Loud.) ponderosa pine, (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. exLaws.), and western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.). It preys on a variety of small birds and mammals that require an array of forest conditions. Fire, being the primary disturbance mechanism throughout the Western United States, provided landscapes that contained and maintained goshawk populations. Goshawks and their prey adapted to forest conditions maintained by different fire regimes—nonlethal, mixed, variable, stand replacing, or rarely occurring. The goshawk recommendations by Reynolds and others (1992), coupled with knowledge of fire regimes, provide guidance for designing goshawk habitat throughout the Western United States.

Graham, R. T., T. B. Jain, R. T. Reynolds, and D. A. Boyce. 1997. The role of fire in sustaining northern goshawk habitat in Rocky Mountain forests, in Greenlee, J. M., Proceedings: First Conference on Fire Effects on Rare and Endangered Species and Habitats. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. International Association of Wildland Fire,Fairfield, WA. p. 69-76,