Waterbird Use of Brackish Wetlands Managed for Waterfowl

Waterbird use of managed and unmanaged brackish wetlands in coastal South Carolina was determined by 1,544 counts during a 19-month study. Significantly (P < 0.05) more individual birds and species used the managed sites in all seasons except summer. An unmanaged tidal impoundment was least used in all seasons. Multiple regression analysis indicated that bird use was inversely correlated to water level, particularly during spring. Shorebirds accounted for 53% of the use among managed sites follwed by waterfowl (27%), waders (14%) and other waterbirds (6%). The results have strong implications for multispecies management practices.

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