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Birds of the Salton SeaStatus, Biogeography, and Ecology$
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Michael Patten

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520235939

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520235939.001.0001

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The Species Accounts

The Species Accounts

(p.68) The Species Accounts
Birds of the Salton Sea

Michael A. Patten

Guy McCaskie

Philip Unitt

University of California Press

The Salton Sink essentially unites with the bed of historical Lake Cahuilla, which covers the area to a maximum elevation of approximately 15m above sea level. The Salton Sea includes all the Salton Sea, the southern Coachella Valley, the Imperial Valley, San Sebastian Marsh and the San Felipe Greek drainage, and the Mexicali Valley south to Campo Geotérmico Cerro Prieto. Lake Cahuilla was an emergence of the Salton Sea. The approximate sea-level line is a well-defined biogeographic boundary for birds in the region, as it strongly affects habitat and climate. Subspecies described solely on the basis of mean differences could be named indefinitely along a smooth cline, defeating the purpose of a trinomial. By paying attention to subspecies, readers can learn a great deal about migration, movements, and biogeography, but only if individual specimens can be assigned to particular geographic populations.

Keywords:   Coachella Valley, biogeography, geographic populations, migration, Imperial Valley

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