projects > habitat associations and life history traits of limpkins in support of using limpkins as an indicator of everglades restoration success
Habitat Associations and Life History Traits of Limpkins in Support of Using Limpkins as an Indicator of Everglades Restoration Success
One of the key features of a restored Everglades ecosystem will be its populations of native wetland species. Although occasionally observed in other states, the limpkin (Aramus guarauna) in the United States is generally restricted to Florida's wetlands. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a large segment of the Florida population winters in the central and southern wetlands (e.g., the Everglades); thus, its persistence in the U.S. may be dramatically influenced by the success of central and south Florida wetland restoration efforts. In contrast to other wading birds of the Everglades, the limpkin's diet is almost exclusively mollusks, the vast majority of which is apple snails. Thus, it can be an important indicator of this component of Everglades aquatic food webs. However, despite the limpkin being one of the most widely recognized avian species within the Everglades, some of its basic life history characteristics remain unknown. If limpkins are to be considered as indicator of ecological response to restoration efforts, a basic understanding some of these life history traits along with an evaluation of potential sampling approaches are essential first steps.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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