Development and Management of Avian Habitat on Dredged Material Islands

Soots, Jr., Robert F. and Mary C. Landin
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U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station

Seven regional DMRP studies were conducted throughout Corps of Engineers-maintained waterways to determine dredged material island use by nesting water birds and the succession of vegetation on these islands as affected by bird use, to compare diked and undiked islands and natural and man-made islands and sites, and to study migratory and year-round use of dredged material islands. These data and pertinent management information are synthesized in this report. Recommendations and guidelines for management of existing dredged material islands and creation of new islands are set forth by the authors. Five major factors determining selection for waterbird colony sites on dredged material islands are set forth: isolation from predators and humans, habitat diversity, nesting substrate stability, species behavioral characteristics, and species feeding and foraging habits. Management for waterbird colonies has been proven feasible and may be accomplished by several important factors: (a) incorporation of management plans into routine dredging operations, (b) interagency and intraagency cooperation, and (c) public education and cooperation. It was determined that dredged material islands are often crucial habitat for colonial waterbirds and should be maintained and managed as such.

123 pgs.
birds, wildlife habitat, avian, dredging, environmental aspects, dredged material islands, island fauna, shore birds, waterfowl