The Desert Managers Group (DMG) Raven Management Work Group is implementing a plan to reduce predation by the common raven (Corvus corax) on the federally threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in the California desert. During the past few decades, the population of the common raven has increased substantially in the California desert, primarily in response to human-provided subsidies of food, water, and nest sites. The common raven is a known predator of desert tortoises, particularly hatchlings and juveniles. The Revised Recovery Plan for the Mojave Population of the Desert Tortoise identifies reducing predation on the desert tortoise as a recovery task.
To carry out the preferred alternative outlined in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Environmental Assessment to Implement a Desert Tortoise Recovery Task: Reduce Common Raven Predation on the Desert Tortoise. This recovery action is focused within desert tortoise conservation areas (e.g., desert tortoise critical habitat, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs), Desert Wildlife Management Areas (DWMAs), research and other special management areas), and raven concentration areas (e.g., landfills) and the urban-wildland interface.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Implement the Recovery Task: Reduce Common Raven Predation on the Desert Tortoise
- Reduce subsidies: water, food, nest substrate, and roosting sites
- Aggressive nest removal
- Education and outreach
- Data collection on offending ravens
- Implementation and effectiveness monitoring
- Meet regularly to coordinate programs and activities within the working group and among the recovery implementation teams.
- Report findings, provide updates on working group activities, and develop recommendations for consideration by the DMG
- Coordinate with other DMG interagency working groups as appropriate to carry out their missions.
- Assist in developing, implementing, and evaluating outreach programs for DMG efforts.
- Serve as a forum for DMG agencies to resolve issues related to raven management.