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

Virginia Project

Marsh bird conservation on the Atlantic Shore in the face of sea level rise

August 2021 - June 2026


Participating Agencies

  • Virginia Tech Center for Coastal Studies
  • NASA
  • Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

Sea level rise will impact marsh birds' habitats through loss and degradation, as well as having direct impacts on population dynamics through impacts to nesting. Conserving species in the face of these threats requires ecological understanding of the impacts as well as multi-disciplinary collaboration to come up with solutions. We are studying species such as Saltmarsh Sparrows, Seaside Sparrows, and Clapper Rails, as well as using remote sensing technology and social science to understand the threats to species' habitats and potential management actions.

Presentations Presentation Date
Thomas, V.A., D. Donahoe, A. Dayer, and E.A. Hunter. Multitemporal lidar and satellite analysis for the quantification and detection of coastal forest degradation in the Eastern United States. ForestSat Conference, New Zealand, 2024. September 2024
Re, B.C. and E.A. Hunter. Assessing within-season dispersal dynamics and breeding pressures for a declining tidal marsh obligate songbird. American Ornithological Society Annual meeting, Estes Park, Colorado, October 2024. October 2024
Hunter, E.A., and A.A. Dayer. Will salt marsh migration create replacement habitat for edge sensitive birds? 75th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association and Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Roanoke, Virginia, October 2021. October 2021
Hunter, E.A., J.M. Beall, A.A. Dayer, B.C. Re, and M.D. Smith. Opportunities and challenges of marsh migration for Saltmarsh Sparrows and upland landowners in the path of sea level rise. Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 78th Annual Conference, Augusta, Georgia, October 2024. October 2024