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Habitat use by breeding Virginia rails (Rallus limicola) and soras (Porzana carolina) in northwestern Iowa was correlated highly with the availability of emergent vegetation for both species. Virginia rails preferred fine and moderately robust emergents, and soras were most abundant at diverse shoreward sites. Monotypic stands of glaucous cattail (Typha glauca) received the greatest percentage of use by both species. Structurally, habitat was used as available. No strong niche-segregating mechanism was evident in habitat use. Practices used to encourage waterfowl use are compatible with habitat requirements of breeding Virginia rails and soras. Drawdowns may be used to create attractive emergent diversity and appropriate cover-water interspersion.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1986 Wiley