Twenty-one Year Trends for Shorebirds, Waterfowl, and Other Waterbirds at Great Salt Lake, Utah [article]

Brian Tavernia, Tim Meehan, John Neill, John Luft
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Millions of wetland-dependent birds annually depend on saline lakes and associated wetlands in the western United States. Understanding the population status and trends of birds with different life histories and habitats can guide efforts to secure water resources needed to sustain bird habitats. We used a 21-year dataset to examine population trends for 24 survey units presumed to be high-quality habitat for migratory shorebirds, waterfowl, and other waterbirds at Great Salt Lake and
more » ... wetlands. As expected for high-quality habitats, we found stable or positive trends for 36 of 37 species or groups in fall, spring, or both seasons when considering survey units in aggregate. Despite stable or positive aggregate trends, negative trends did occur in some individual survey units. Foraging, migration distance, and taxonomic groupings were unrelated to trend direction. Research is needed to test whether survey units represent high-quality habitat. With declining regional water resources, stable and positive aggregate trends reinforce the importance of surveyed units at Great Salt Lake and associated wetlands to wetland-dependent birds. Ensuring continuation of stable and positive trends will require identifying environmental factors - including water quantity and quality - driving trends, and require coordinated regional management and monitoring of wetland-dependent birds.
doi:10.1101/2021.05.17.444474 fatcat:hamv4hhul5dqtdaxah5pzyrofm