February Wrack Line Newsletter

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FSA Partnership Meetings:

February 16: Treasure Coast Partnership. Email Niki Desjardin

February 22: Nature Coast Partnership. Email Blair Hayman.

February 25: Panhandle Working Group. Email Bonnie Samuelsen

February 25: Timucuan Partnership. Email Blair Hayman.

March 3: Volusia County Partnership. Email Jennifer Winters

March 4: Florida Keys Partnership. Email Suzy Roebling

March 4: St. Johns/Flagler Partnership. Email Jean Olbert

March 5: Space Coast Partnership. Email Anna Deyle.

March 9: Collier Partnership. Email Collette Lauzau.

March 11: Suncoast Partnership. Email Holley Short.

March 18: Lee/Charlotte Partnership. Email Tyson Dallas.


Save the Date:

March 8, 1-2pm(EST): FSD webinar for new surveyors

March 9, 1-2pm(EST): FSD webinar for returning surveyors

March 10, 1-2pm(EST): FSD webinar for rooftop monitors


FSA News

Winter Shorebird Survey Save-the-date

Florida Winter Shorebird Survey 

February 5-11, 2021

The weeklong Florida Winter Shorebird Survey starts today! 2021 is the 13th year of the Florida Winter Shorebird Survey (a.k.a. The First Friday in February Survey).  We are enthused to invite you to participate in the mid-winter survey that serves as a statewide snapshot of shorebirds and seabirds across the state. 

The primary objective of the Winter Shorebird Survey is to better understand the winter distribution of shorebirds and seabirds in Florida. This annual survey will allow us to recognize long-term trends or changes in winter population sizes and distribution. It will also help us identify key wintering sites- information that is much needed to guide future conservation efforts, particularly for our state or federally listed focal species.

If you plan to participate, please review the 2021 Protocol, review the list of routes and sign up for an existing route or add a new route on the Route Survey List. Adding your name to the 2021 column for your route means you're officially signed up!

After the survey is complete, please submit your data by March 1st into the Google Sheet. If you have questions about a route or the survey, please contact the Regional Coordinator in the protocol.

Based on prior success, we’re continuing to support the following:   

  • Survey dates, February 5th – 11th (first Friday in February);
  • You can sign up for or add a survey route without contacting a coordinator;
  • The option to survey only focal species;
  • GPS locations for flocks >50 non-focal species are optional (and encouraged), rather than required
  • Report all GPS locations in Decimal Degrees.

We look forward to participating alongside you in this fun winter survey.  Thank you for contributing your vital data.

Happy Counting!

Posting Definition

2021 Posting Guidelines

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently published an updated edition of the Guidelines for Posting Shorebird and Seabird Sites in Florida. Previously updated in 2012, the new edition integrates best available science with best management practices used by wildlife managers to provide general methods for posting shorebird and seabird breeding habitat. Partners can view the new Posting Guidelines on the Resources section of the Florida Shorebird Alliance website.

Posting of nesting, brood-rearing, and sensitive feeding habitats is one of the primary means of reducing disturbance in busy recreational areas statewide. Nesting sites are often posted with signs and rope to alert beachgoers that nests are present. FSA partners strive to identify and post nesting areas that are most vulnerable to human disturbance. 

For most beaches in Florida, posting is critical to the success of ground-nesting shorebirds and seabirds. Nests, eggs, and chicks are well-camouflaged and can easily be trampled and destroyed by pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Additionally, shorebirds and seabirds are highly sensitive to disturbance. When people, pets, or vehicles approach a nest or colony too closely, adults will fly off and leave eggs or chicks exposed to the hot sun and to nearby predators. On a popular beach, this may happen repeatedly, placing the eggs and young at risk of abandonment and predation.

Posting Works

Visitors to Florida’s coast often do not know that shorebirds and seabirds nest directly on the ground and in areas that are managed for a variety of purposes. Posting provides consistent protection across diverse landscapes with different management challenges. Establishing a disturbance buffer with signs and/or symbolic fencing in nesting, brood-rearing, and sensitive feeding habitats has been shown to reduce disturbance and increase nest and chick success for shorebirds and seabirds. Field observations also suggest that the best protections are achieved when posting is combined with outreach, stewarding, and coordination with law enforcement.

The 2021 guidelines include updated literature and recommendations for Buffer Distances. The Methods section now includes general guidance on monitoring and maintaining posted sites. New Materials tables make it easy to decide the types of materials to use at different sites. A new Site-Specific Considerations section provides troubleshooting guidance for common issues. Finally, there is comprehensive guidance on removing, storing, and reusing posting materials to extend the longevity of posting resources. Whether you’re a posting expert or novice, the 2021 Posting Guidelines are a helpful resource for all Florida Shorebird Alliance partners!

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FSD Updates

2021 FSD Webinars

It’s that time of year again! The 2021 breeding season is just around the corner and the FSD will reopen in March. The FSD data team have put together a series of webinars tailored for monitors with all levels of experience.

Registration is now open for the 2021 FSD webinars. Details and instructions will be emailed to registered participants prior to the webinars.


Ebb Tidings

Black Skimmers by Jean Hall

Join Us!

The 2021 breeding season will be here before we know it. There are many ways to get involved in conserving Florida's charismatic shorebirds and seabirds. Every breeding season there are opportunities to get involved through: posting important nesting areas; educating the public by stewarding at breeding colonies and nesting sites; and monitoring birds nesting on the ground or at one of the many rooftops that host nesting birds. 

If you would like to get involved in the 2021 breeding season activities, email shorebird@MyFWC.com for more information about your local partnership and opportunities.

You can also learn about local efforts by joining the flock on social media: Florida Shorebird Alliance Facebook Group.

Photo by Jean Hall