August Wrack Line Newsletter

August 2020 Cover

FSA News

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2020 Seabird Abundance Estimates are First of Their Kind in Florida

The 2020 “Florida Shorebird Alliance Monitoring Data at Work” annual report features abundance estimates for black skimmers and least terns that provide the baseline for assessing population trends and measuring progress towards species recovery goals outlined in the Florida Beach-nesting Bird Plan

In 2020, the FWC Shorebird Data Team finalized a process to calculate the most accurate abundance estimates possible with confidence intervals for black skimmers and least terns, based solely on information available in the Florida Shorebird Database (FSD). With this advancement, the FSD will serve as the sole data source to update statewide seabird abundance estimates and to assess progress toward species recovery goals.

To accomplish this task, the team developed a custom analysis strategy that allows all data reported to the FSD to be leveraged. The analysis produces an estimate of the number of breeding pairs in Florida and overcomes analytical challenges related to the facts that nesting is not always synchronous, birds may move between colonies within a season, and monitoring does not occur simultaneously across all breeding sites.

Developing abundance estimates using data from the FSD has been a long-term priority for shorebird conservation partners. More than a decade of consistent monitoring by FSA partners has made this achievement possible.

If you want to know more about the details of the analysis, join the FWC Shorebird Data Team for a recorded webinar on Thursday, September 17 from 10 – 11:30 am EST. Click here to register for the webinar!

Photo: Maxis Gamez

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You're Invited to Join the Shorebird Forum for the Americas

The Shorebird Forum for the Americas (formerly the Shorebird Forum) is a place for discussions and constructive conversations about ways to conserve, protect, and improve conditions for shorebirds and their habitats. The Forum is a place to ask questions and share your knowledge. The challenge of shorebird conservation is great, but we are all contributing to this effort and have information, lessons, and experiences to share.

You can find the forum at

The forum is open to the public to view, but you must be registered to contribute to the conversation. We look forward to connecting with you there!

About the Forum: The Shorebird Forum for the Americas was envisioned by the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Partnership and the USA-Committee of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, and is managed by the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative, Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Program, and the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Executive Office. If you need helping signing up or have questions, email

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FSD Updates

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Late-Season Chick Data

Even though the breeding season is winding down, there is still valuable data to collect! The final count window for the Breeding Bird Protocol approaching, and all late-season surveys capture important data about this year’s juveniles. To help prepare for your surveys, the FSA provides aging guides for identifying chick stages in many shorebird and seabird species. In addition, the monitoring report includes a timeline on p.19 that helps you know when you can expect to see chicks during your surveys. Every time you record chick during your surveys, we learn more about where these young birds are spending time, how old they are, and how many adults are with them. This data is used to inform adaptive management and refine population estimates. Keep up the great monitoring work, everyone!

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