Seabird Colony Registry and Atlas for the Southeastern United States

The coastal region of the South Atlantic Bight is characterized by sandy beaches and numerous barrier and estuarine islands backed by extensive tidal marshes that host critical populations of nesting seabirds. The most recent atlas of seabird nesting colonies for the eastern U.S. was published in 1978 (Osborn and
Custer, 1978) and up-to-date information was required by state and federal biologists to efficiently
manage seabird species in the region.

Research:

We created a Seabird Colony Registry and Atlas of the Southeastern United States to compile the locations and attributes of seabird colonies along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and northeast Florida for 2003-2017. Primarily intended for use by local,state, and federal resource manager, the purpose of the Registry and Atlas is to provide an updated and integrated regional repository for seabird data, including a spatial inventory. The Registry and Atlas will aid in the development of regional conservation and management plans, and can be used to evaluate important bird use areas. Following the occurrence of a natural or anthropogenic stressor, such as a pollution event or hurricane, this product may serve as a reference for response teams. The Registry and Atlas also may support the selection of study sites for research or the development of long-term monitoring plans.

Collaborators

Lisa Ferguson, The Wetlands Institute

Patrick Jodice, USGS South Carolina Cooperative Research Unit / Clemson University

Yvan Satgé, South Carolina Cooperative Research Unit / Clemson University

Joseph Tavano

Funding

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Clemson University

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Kristin Rogers (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Janell Brush (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Matthew Anderson (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Felicia Sanders (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), and Tim Keyes (Georgia Department of Natural Resources) for responding to data and information requests. Sara Schweitzer and Kim Sparks (NC Wildlife Resources Commission) provided helpful suggestions for project development. Ruth Boettcher (VA Dept. Game and Inland Fisheries), Linda Welch (US FWS), and Brenna Byler (Clemson University) provided thorough reviews of the text. Laurel Barnhill and John Stanton at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed to project design and scope. We thank US FWS (John Stanton) for financial support and Clemson University for providing project completion funds. We also thank all observers and partners who provided data to state agencies.

Reference

Ferguson, L.M., Y.G. Satgé, J. Tavano, and P.G.R. Jodice. 2018. Seabird colony registry and atlas for the Southeastern United States. Final Report for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Clemson, South Carolina. DOI: 10.5066/P96DIUD8.