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Title:Monitoring of Key Ecological Attributes and Indicators of Waterbirds at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve
Author(s):Osborn, Joshua M.; Yetter, Aaron P.; Schmidt Stephanie; Fournier, Auriel M.V.
Illinois River Valley
habitat management
Geographic Coverage:Emiquon Preserve, Fulton County, Illinois
Abstract:The Nature Conservancy (TNC) identified key ecological attributes (hereafter, KEAs) of specific biological characteristics or ecological processes that evaluate restoration success and trajectory at The Emiquon Preserve (hereafter Emiquon; The Nature Conservancy 2006). Because of the historic importance of the Illinois River valley (IRV) to waterfowl and other waterbirds, several conservation targets and associated KEAs at Emiquon were related to waterbird communities and their habitats (Appendix A). Indeed, use of wetlands by waterbirds may serve as an indicator of landscape condition or a measure of restoration success (Austin et al. 2001, Gawlik 2006, Hagy et al. 2017). Therefore, we monitored the response of wetland vegetation and waterbirds to restoration efforts at Emiquon during 2020 to evaluate restoration success relative to desired conditions under the relevant KEAs. Our primary efforts included evaluating: 1) abundance and diversity of waterfowl and other waterbirds through spring and autumn aerial counts; 2) productivity by waterfowl and other waterbirds through brood counts and nest searches; 3) plant seed biomass to estimate energetic carrying capacity for waterfowl during autumn migration; 4) composition and arrangement of wetland vegetation communities and associated cover types through geospatial covermapping and soil properties in response to water management; 5) fledgling survival and dispersal of Least Bitterns; 6) detection and abundance of secretive marshbirds during spring. Herein, we report results of our monitoring efforts and interpret them as a means of evaluating restoration activities at Emiquon with respect to desired conditions under the KEAs.
Issue Date:2021-07-30
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey
Series/Report:Technical Report INHS 2021 (11)
Genre:Technical Report
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Sponsor:The Nature Conservancy, Contract Number: G19-004-EMQ-P
Rights Information:This document is a product of the Illinois Natural History Survey, and has been selected and made available by the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-08-09

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