As nesting season begins for waterbird species across the state, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is sharing five easy ways that members of the public can help conserve these vulnerable bird species.
Many shorebird and seabird species, such as the least tern, nest directly on beaches across the state where their eggs and chicks are well camouflaged in the sand. Colonies of wading birds, such as herons, will typically nest on mangrove islands off the coast. Biologists stress that the most important thing for waterbirds during nesting season is space. When these birds are disturbed and forced to leave their nests, their eggs and chicks are left vulnerable to heat and predators.
“Small actions can make a big difference for wildlife,” said FWC Florida Shorebird Alliance Coordinator, Shea Armstrong. “By taking a few steps to limit disturbance to nesting waterbirds, we can help ensure they have a successful nesting season and that they will be around for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”
Here are five ways you can limit disturbance and make a difference for nesting waterbirds:
For more information, go to MyFWC.com/Shorebirds and download the “Share the Beach with Beach-Nesting Birds” brochure. Or go to the Florida Shorebird Alliance website at FLShorebirdAlliance.org to learn more about how to participate in shorebird and seabird conservation efforts.
Report illegal activity and any unposted nests to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com.
For more information about Florida’s CWAs, visit MyFWC.com/CWA.