Impacts of Wildfire and Prescribed Fire on Wildlife and Habitats: A Review

Wondimagegnehu Tekalign


Forest fires controlled or uncontrolled have profound impacts on the physical environment including land cover, land use, biodiversity, climate change and forest ecosystem. Effects of fire on wildlife are either immediate impacts, which include direct injury or mortality of plants and animals and secondary impacts include an alteration of forage productivity, availability and quality, as well as creating, destroying, or degrading various habitat attributes. Fire may have direct short-term effects on density of animals and/or long-term indirect effects through habitat modification. The most important effects of fire on wildlife populations are due to changes in the vegetation. Burning can improve the habitat for some species through effects on the vegetation, resulting in a post-fire succession. Sustainable management of forest resources has become key agenda of biodiversity conservation. Forest fire is one of the important factors to be considered for better management of the forest resources including wildlife. Therefore, fire represents not only devastation, but also renewal of wildlife habitats.

Keywords: Forest fire, Habitat, Prescribed burning, Succession, Vegetation, Wildlife

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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