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Shorebird Response to Post-Flood Drawdowns on Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
- Newcomb, Kira C., Monroe, Adrian P., Davis, J. Brian, Gray, Matthew J.
- Southeastern naturalist 2014 v.13 no.4 pp. 744-761
- conservation areas, foraging, habitats, stopover sites, summer, surveys, wetlands, Tennessee, Tennessee River
- Mudflats are important stopover sites for shorebirds during migration, but management plans typically do not provide mudflat habitat in the reservoirs of the Tennessee River Valley (TRV) during May—July. In May 2010, flooding delayed drawdowns on Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and created wetlands for shorebirds from May—August. We studied wetland use and behavior of shorebirds during delayed drawdowns in 2010, and we compared shorebird abundance between years with delayed and typical drawdowns using International Shorebird Survey data. We found that shorebirds consistently used wetlands for foraging throughout summer during 2010. In addition, abundance of 43% of species tested was greater in years with delayed than typical drawdowns. Our results suggest extending availability of mudflats throughout summer in the TRV may provide important habitat for migrating shorebirds.