Thursday, May 14, 2015

Manomet Monitors Shorebird Migration at Yawkey Preserve

Just a few of the shorebirds from May 4 at Yawkey Preserve

The month of May marks the peak of shorebird migration in South Carolina. Much of the coastal habitat here is perfectly positioned for them to pause at and seek the nourishment that will allow them to complete some of the longest bird migrations known to man. Like many avian species, shorebirds are suffering a decline in numbers, and the Manomet Conservation group is taking the initiative by leading a shorebird recovery project.

SCDNR's Dean Harrigal explains the shorebird sightings
Manomet’s goal is to restore and maintain shorebird populations in the Western Hemisphere by building a scientific foundation and implementing site-based conservation efforts. Another goal they have is to restore, upgrade and protect a half million acres of shorebird habitat. They want to cultivate a culture of conservation similar to the one that surrounds migratory waterfowl. Because just like ducks, shorebirds require food, rest and safety along their coastal migration routes.

This graphic gives a good indication of shorebird SIZE variance
Manomet's shorebird conservation culture
On Monday May 4 at the SCDNR's Yawkey Preserve with 4000-acres of managed wetlands. Manomet scientist Brad Winn spent 20 years with the Georgia DNR and knows prime coastal habitat from first-hand experience. “The spectacular wetlands here at the Yawkey Preserve are important at the landscape scale,” said Winn. “The degradation of wetlands and fragmentation of ecosystems is a mounting threat to shorebirds. The area here known as the goose pond is one of the richest and most abundantly used impoundments I have ever seen.”

The ACE Basin and Santee Delta are strongholds for large tracts of protected lands that provide prime habitat for shorebirds, but all the sea islands of the Lowcountry offer the potential to host these migrants. Which is just another reason why South Carolina continues to draw the attention of national wildlife experts in the name of quality habitat conservation.

To read this entire feature article in the newspaper click Colletonian

 To view past Lowcountry Birding Journal Observations click here.

For past blog entries on Red Knot shorebirds click Moonbird book review - Endangered Species Act

For past blog entries on World Shorebird Day click 2014

To view past blog on avian conservation click on Cornell Lab of Ornithology - International Crane Foundation


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