Wading birds as biological indicators: 1975 colony survey

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Dept. of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1977 - Birds - 28 pages
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In 1975 we studied the suitability of wading birds (herons and their allies) as biological indicators in the coastal environment. Eight teams of investigators located and censused 198 colonies along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida. Fourteen species including over one-quarter million breeding birds were censused. Wading bird colony sites are generally active each year and the number of colonies may have recently increased in some areas of the coast. The breeding population of wading birds was correlated with the area of coastal wetlands by State. The use of wading birds to their full potential as biological indicators requires further exploration: survey and reproductive success methods need to be tested, the survey of colonies repeated, available historical information assembled, and habitat requirements measured.

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