Bird Abundance and Distribution in a North Florida Phosphate Mine

Seasonal bird use in 5 habitat types associated with phosphate mining was examined in Hamilton County, Florida, in 1979 and 1980. Bird densities were highest in late successional settling ponds and lowest in reclaimed habitats. Early successional settling ponds contained the greatest number of species. Conversion of unreclaimed mines or late successional settling ponds to reclaimed habitats resulted in decreases in all abundance and diversity estimates. Creating wetlands in settling ponds and establishing littoral, shoreline, and upland vegetation in reclaimed habitats would encourage use of phosphate mines by birds.

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