SREL Reprint #3264




Characterization of tidally influenced Wood Stork foraging habitats in Georgia

A. Lawrence Bryan, Jr.1 and Rena R. Borkhataria2

1University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, PO Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802
2University of Florida, Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, FL 33430

Abstract: To characterize tidally influenced Wood Stork foraging habitats, we documented the physical structure and potential prey populations of 17 known (based primarily on satellite telemetry locations) foraging and 20 “alternate” (similar habitat) sites, tidal creeks, in coastal Georgia. The majority of sites contained reaches partially impounded by three landscape features: oyster-shell dams, root/mud dams, or the junction of two or more creeks. Potential prey species, dominated by Fundulus heteroclitus (Mummichog) and shrimp, were highly variable among the tidal habitats but generally occurred in densities (average > 140 individuals/m2) far greater than those observed in an earlier inland Georgia study. There were no differences in potential prey densities between known foraging and alternate sites, confirming that the large salt marsh region of Georgia provides excellent foraging habitat for the regional Wood Stork population.

SREL Reprint #3264

Bryan Jr., A. L. and R. R. Borkhataria. 2013. Characterization of tidally influenced Wood Stork foraging habitats in Georgia. Southeastern Naturalist 124: 843-850.

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