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Increase Knowledge

Increasing monitoring can ensure continued stability of waterbird species. Obtaining better population estimates for nesting species allows us to evaluate changes in population numbers, trends, and habitat use. Waterbird monitoring is a means for checking wetland systems because waterbirds are proven to serve as sentinels for the health of our marine environment. For example, pelican populations plummeted with widespread use of pesticides, such as DDT in the 1940's, due to lack of breeding success. This alerted scientists to the dangers of pesticides which caused the prohibition of DDT-use in the United States.

SCDNR Coastal Birds
  • Conduct waterbird surveys for distribution and abundance during nesting and winter seasons.

  • Test for contaminants in waterbirds to estimate distribution in aquatic environments.

  • Identify waterbird feeding areas and forage items.

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