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YUMA CLAPPER RAIL } Rallus longirostris yumanensis

RANGE: Southwestern United States and Mexico

STATUS: The species is listed as Endangered under U.S. Endangered Species Act; listed as Threatened in California; Critically Imperiled in Nevada.

THREATS: Habitat loss and degradation from human activities such as water projects, draining or filling marshes for development or agriculture, and pollution from urban runoff, industrial discharges, and sewage effluent; catastrophic flooding; invasion of nonnative plant species

The chicken-sized Yuma clapper rail is a pale, slender marsh bird with a long, down-curved bill. This secretive fellow hides out in dense stands of cattails and bulrushes in shallow, freshwater marshes. It occurs only in marshes along the lower Colorado River, from California and Arizona south into Mexico, and at the Salton Sea in Imperial County, California. The Yuma clapper rail chows mostly on crayfish, small fish, and beetles.

Photo by Jim Rorabaugh, USFWS