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Title:Effects of Off-channel Wetland Restoration on Breeding Bird Communities
Author(s):Hoover, Jeffrey P.
Subject(s):Cache River watershed
Union County
Johnson County
INHS Division of Biodiversity and Ecological Entomology
INHS Section for Wildlife and Plant Ecology
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grant Program and Illinois Department of Natural Resources � State Wildlife Grant Program
Science in support of ecosystem management and conservation
Science in support of state fish, wildlife and outdoor recreational programs
Abstract:Channelization of rivers and streams threatens bottomland forest bird communities because it results in channel incision and can lead to the formation of lateral gullies that connect streams to adjacent wetlands and drain the wetlands when water levels in the stream drop below flood stage. These adjacent forested wetlands may fill during spring floods and be attractive breeding habitat for birds, but the unnaturally rapid draining of the wetlands early in the breeding season may expose some birds to high rates of nest predation. I studied how the hydrologic restoration of off-channel wetlands (plugging gullies that drain off-channel wetlands) affects the diversity, abundance, and nesting success of birds breeding within forested wetlands within the Cache River watershed in Illinois. I compared surface area, water depth, bird diversity, bird densities, and nesting success between treatment (gully plugs added) and control (gully plugs not added) wetlands pre- and post-treatment. During the breeding season of birds, treatment wetlands retained more surface area and greater depths of water compared to control wetlands. Bird diversity was unaffected by the installation of gully plugs. The density and nesting success of prothonotary warblers (Protonotaria citrea) was higher in treatment wetlands than in control wetlands. Other species associated with forested wetlands (yellow-throated warblers, Dendroica dominica; wood ducks, Aix sponsa; and yellow-crowned night-herons, Nyctanassa violacea) also increased in number within the treatment wetlands. Documenting changes in the bird community in response to this conservation action provides a means to measure the success of restoration activities in the Cache River watershed and inform conservation plans and restoration efforts in other bottomland forest ecosystems.
Issue Date:2008-03-20
Publisher:Division of Biodiversity and Ecological Entomology, Section for Wildlife and Plant Ecolog
Series/Report:Technical Report INHS 2008 (12)
Genre:Technical Report
Sponsor:INHS Technical Report Prepared for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grant Program and Illinois Department of Natural Resources � State Wildlife Grant Program
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:2011-01-07

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