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Annual Colonial Waterbird Census
Southwest Region, July 13, 2007
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Corpus Christi ES staff, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Padre Island National Seashore staff, censused nesting waterbird pairs on islands in the Upper Laguna Madre (Kenedy, Kleberg and Nueces counties, Texas).  Staff also helped the Nature Conservancy census the large rookery on Shamrock Island, in Corpus Christi Bay.  Nesting islands in the most southern part of the Upper Laguna appeared to be faring well, with high numbers of individuals and good diversity of species, as did several important islands to the north, including Shamrock.  In certain areas, birds have abandoned groups of islands, apparently due to mammalian predators, particularly coyotes and raccoons.  Increasingly, human disturbance of rookery islands looks to be affecting nesting success as human uses of Texas bay systems continue to increase.  The 2007 nesting pair numbers for the Texas coast will become part of a data set that originated in the early 1970’s and is now likely the most geographically comprehensive, and longest running, compilation of nesting numbers for wading birds, gulls, and terns in the U.S. 

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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