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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola)

Species Code: RALI

Click to enlarge Range map

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat

Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)

Click to enlarge distribution map

Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records

Other maps & Information:
  • Breeding Bird Atlas
  • NatureMapping observations
    during breeding season
  • NatureMapping observations
    throughout the year

This species is fairly common in freshwater marshes at lower elevations on both sides of the Cascade crest. In western Washington, they occur along the entire Puget Trough and the San Juan Islands, and west to Ocean Shores. They occur in lesser numbers in brackish marshes. In eastern Washington, they are found throughout the Columbia Basin, Okanogan valley, and north following major river valleys. They will occupy small marshes created by agricultural runoff.

The core areas of use were the Puget Sound Douglas-fir, Woodland/Prairie Mosaic, Western Hemlock, Sitka Spruce, Grand Fir, Interior Douglas-fir, Ponderosa Pine, and all steppe zones within its range limits. Fresh water/wetlands were good and estuarine grasslands were adequate. Agricultural areas in west-side zones, which are often low, flat valleys and interspersed with creeks and marshes were included knowing there may be smaller pockets of habitat suitable for the Virginia Rail depending upon the availability of suitable wetlands.

Washington breeders can be found in a variety of freshwater wetland situations. They are often found in the company of Soras, though Virginia Rails tend to require more water and lower elevations than Soras. Typically, emergent vegetation such as cattails or purple loosestrife are present in wetlands suitable for this species. They are generally absent from the higher-elevation moist meadows that Soras can utilize.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester