Rookery Bay Reserve and Audubon Partner to Protect Shorebirds

April.14.2015

NAPLES – Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve manages 40 percent of Collier County’s coastline, which serves as crucial habitat for many species of migratory and nesting birds. Rookery Bay Reserve, in partnership with Audubon Florida and Audubon of the Western Everglades, is pleased to welcome new Shorebird Monitoring and Stewardship Project Manager Adam DiNuovo.

DiNuovo will work with research and stewardship staff at Rookery Bay Reserve to monitor seasonal beach-nesting bird colonies, over-wintering shorebird population trends, spring/fall migratory events, and habitat on mainland beaches as well as on remote, offshore islands. He will also recruit and train bird stewards as part of a wider education and outreach initiative within Collier and Lee Counties. Audubon Florida has funded this position for a minimum of two years.

“The reserve will greatly benefit from this enhanced monitoring and stewarding effort to support regional management and protection of beach-nesting birds and their habitat,” said Rookery Bay Reserve’s Research Coordinator Kevin Cunniff.

During the breeding season, which runs from March through August, DiNuovo will be responsible for performing beach-nesting bird monitoring and protection work. Post breeding season, his role will shift to assisting regional monitoring efforts directed at assessing shorebird population status and trends.

“This new position will not only help all of us better understand the regional status and trends of nesting and migratory birds, but will also enable us to better engage the public around coastal bird conservation,” said Marianne Korosy, Audubon Florida’s important bird area coordinator. “We’re grateful to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for the funding to help us support Rookery Bay and the region’s devoted bird stewards.”

Rookery Bay Reserve, Audubon Florida and Audubon of the Western Everglades are all members of the Collier County Shorebird Partnership, which has been working collaboratively and meeting semi-annually since 2000. The partnership also includes members from local, state and federal agencies, as well as local non-profit organizations.

In Collier County, 99 percent of all shorebird nesting is on beaches. Least tern and black skimmer nesting data has been recorded in Collier County since 1972 as part of a long-term coastal waterbird monitoring effort. The Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area’s least tern and black skimmer colony is consistently ranked as one of the largest colonies in Florida.

To get involved in the bird steward program in Collier County contact the Shorebird Monitoring and Stewardship Project Manager Adam DiNuovo atadinuovo@audubon.org or 413-896-4751.

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters on the southwest Florida coast. It is managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in cooperation with NOAA. For more information about the Reserve visit www.rookerybay.org.

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