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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


We reviewed the scientific literature to inventory existing studies of common raven (Corvus corax; raven) ecology in western North America. We conducted an intial literature review between June 2015 and March 2018. Prior to completing our review, we revisited the published literature for any additional relevant studies in July 2021. Our goal was to identify knowledge gaps and to synthesize the current understanding of environmental features that may support raven populations that pose general threats to biodiversity and sensitive species in particular. We focused our review on studies with direct conservation applications related to 3 processes of raven ecology: occurrence, resource use, and demography. We identified covariates that researchers associated with these processes of raven ecology, and we also quantified the geographic distribution of studies. Our review identified 54 studies, with an increasing number of studies published per decade and a geographic bias characterized by more studies conducted in the Mojave and Columbia Plateau ecoregions than elsewhere. Most studies (44) reported on a single ecological process, but 10 studies reported on multiple ecological processes. Results related to raven occurrence appeared 31 times; demographic results appeared 21 times; and resource use was reported 17 times. We also identified 13 explanatory covariates regularly invoked to explain variation in raven ecological processes. Greater attention was given to covariates including vegetation land cover, human settlement, recreation, and linear rights-of-ways than were used to explain variation in ecological processes. Most demographic studies investigated raven reproduction exclusively, but a small number of studies considered raven survival exclusively or in combination with reproduction. Along with a detailed summary of individual studies provided as an appendix, we intend for our findings to serve as a reference and to help identify future research priorities.

Additional Files

WebbEtAl_Appendix.doc (229 kB)