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1 July 1998 Shorebird Use of Managed Wetlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Daniel J. Twedt, Curtis O. Nelms, Virginia E. Rettig, S. Ray Aycock
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Abstract

We assessed shorebird use of artificial wetlands within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley during the winters of 1991–1992 and 1992–1993 and during the autumn of 1994. On agricultural fields managed to provide habitat for waterfowl from November to March, mean shorebird density was 58.6 birds/100 ha, but shorebird densities were greater on soybean fields than on rice or moist-soil fields. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) and common snipe (Gallinago gallinago) were common throughout winter, but shorebird abundance and species richness along survey routes increased from November through April. During the late summer and autumn, wetlands on public lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically to provide foraging habitat for shorebirds. From August through October 1994, we observed 14,564 individual shorebirds of 22 species using these anthropogenic wetlands. Mean shorebird density on wetlands managed by flooding previously dry, disked fields was 695 birds/100 ha, whereas mean density on wetlands managed by drawing down water reservoirs was 1224 birds/100 ha. We recommend increased shallow-water flooding of agricultural fields, particularly soybean fields, during winter to provide habitat for wintering and early spring migrant shorebirds. More importantly, we recommend continued water management on public wetlands from July through October, preferably by drawing down water reservoirs, to provide foraging habitat for southward migrating shorebirds.

Daniel J. Twedt, Curtis O. Nelms, Virginia E. Rettig, and S. Ray Aycock "Shorebird Use of Managed Wetlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley," The American Midland Naturalist 140(1), 140-152, (1 July 1998). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(1998)140[0140:SUOMWI]2.0.CO;2
Received: 6 December 1996; Accepted: 1 October 1997; Published: 1 July 1998
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