Rapid growth in off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in North America leads to concerns about potential impacts on wildlife populations. We studied the relationship between distance to active OHV trail and songbird nesting success and abundance in northeastern California, USA, from 2002 to 2004. We found evidence of greater nest desertion and abandonment and reduced predation on shrub nests <100 m from OHV trails than at nests >100 m from OHV trails. Two of 18 species studied were less abundant at sites on trails than at sites 250 m from trails, and no species were more abundant on trails. Management of OHV trail development should consider possible negative impacts on nesting success and abundance of breeding birds.
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Vol. 71 • No. 5