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9 April 2019 Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) establishment following recent increase in nonnative prey availability in Lake Seminole, Georgia
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Abstract

The Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) is a medium-sized wading bird found in peninsular Florida and Central and South America, whose distribution is strongly tied to the presence of apple snails (genus Pomacea). Historically, Limpkins have been infrequently observed in the lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) watershed, including Lake Seminole, the most downstream reservoir in the system. In the past decade in Lake Seminole, a rapid increase in the nonnative P. maculata has been documented. In 2016, a Limpkin was observed in the lake, and we made efforts to document all subsequent Limpkin observations there. In the following year, we observed Limpkins (including several mating pairs) each month from February to July 2017. Limpkins were only observed in the Flint River section of the reservoir, the same area where the greatest abundance of P. maculata has been documented. We hypothesize the rapid increase of P. maculata is responsible for the recent regular Limpkin observations at the lake because observations of Limpkins prior to the recent expansion of P. maculata were rare and infrequent. Apple snails are likely to expand within the southeastern United States in the future, thereby creating additional suitable habitat for Limpkins and other specialist avian predators of apple snails.

Nicholas Marzolf, Chelsea Smith, and Stephen Golladay "Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) establishment following recent increase in nonnative prey availability in Lake Seminole, Georgia," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 131(1), 179-184, (9 April 2019). https://doi.org/10.1676/17-26
Received: 28 July 2017; Accepted: 8 August 2018; Published: 9 April 2019
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