Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Florida
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Florida Project

Colonial nesting wading bird tracking and habitat use assessment

August 2019 - December 2024


Participating Agencies

  • USDOI Trustee (Alabama TIG)
PhD Student Ke Zhang outfits a tricolored heron with a satellite transmitter.

This study may inform and enhance future restoration planning for key colonial nesting wading bird species along the Alabama coast that were injured by the DWH oil spill. Overall research objectives include determining daily and seasonal movements, home range size, and habitat use by several species of colonial-nesting wading birds (tricolored herons, little blue herons, and possibly white ibis) in Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound, and Perdido Bay, Alabama. The goals of this proposed project are to better understand the extent to which declines in colonial nesting wading bird populations result from habitat limitation versus other potential population-limiting factors, and in turn, which restoration approaches and techniques are most appropriate to effectively target and restore wading bird populations.