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1 June 2005 Waterbird use of created wetlands in golf-course landscapes
C. LeAnn White, Martin B. Main
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As human pressures continue to alter and degrade natural wetlands, alternative habitats such as created wetlands may become increasingly important to wetland-dependent species. Golf-course ponds and impoundments in Florida often are used both to store water for irrigation and to prevent extensive flooding during the rainy season. These semipermanent water bodies also may provide habitat for waterbirds. To determine the habitat value of constructed golf-course ponds to waterbirds, we quantified the abundance and diversity of waterbirds using 183 ponds on 12 courses in southwest Florida from January through April 2001 and 2002. We also quantified vegetation and hydrological features of ponds to determine their correlation with waterbird site selection. We recorded 10,474 birds representing 42 species during the 2-year period. We categorized species into 6 foraging guilds, which we used for analyses and management recommendations. In general, results from this study indicate that golf-course ponds are capable of attracting many species of waterbirds. However, analysis of site preference resulted in a wide range of pond features selected by each foraging guild. This finding coupled with low densities of birds (<2 birds/ha for most species) suggested that the value of golf-course ponds may be enhanced through vegetation and hydrological modifications designed to appeal to specific guilds.

C. LeAnn White and Martin B. Main "Waterbird use of created wetlands in golf-course landscapes," Wildlife Society Bulletin 33(2), 411-421, (1 June 2005).[411:WUOCWI]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2005

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created wetlands
golf courses
habitat selection
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