Information on Nearctic shorebirds is scarce for inland South America. This work presents information on abundance and habitat use of the species that inhabit water bodies in the highlands of western Santa Cruz province, Argentina. Surveys were conducted during four austral summers (January to March) from 2010 to 2013, with annual data collected at 378 lakes. Results indicate that species distribution varies from year to year. The most abundant species was Baird's Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii). Habitat modeling showed that this species favors ‘depression’ type lakes and that individuals do not distribute uniformly across the area, with higher yearly abundance at Strobel Plateau and the plateaus of the ‘Austral complex’. Size of the water body is positively related to abundance of White-rumped Sandpiper (C. fuscicollis) and Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor). Results show that these highlands are sites of interest for the conservation of migratory shorebirds.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1