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Water levels, rapid vegetational changes, and the endangered Cape Sable seaside-sparrow

January 1, 1998

The legally endangered Cape Sable seaside-sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) is restricted to short-hydroperiod, marl prairies within Florida's Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. Marl prairies are typified by dense, mixed stands of graminoid species usually below 1 m in height, naturally inundated by freshwater for 3-7 months annually. Water levels affect the birds directly, by flooding their nests, and indirectly by altering the habitat on which they depend. Managed redistribution of water flows flooded nearly half of the sparrow's geographical range during several consecutive breeding seasons starting in 1993. Furthermore, these high water levels rapidly changed plant communities, so jeopardizing the sparrow's survival by reducing the availability of nesting habitat.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1998
Title Water levels, rapid vegetational changes, and the endangered Cape Sable seaside-sparrow
DOI
Authors M.P. Nott, O.L. Bass, D.M. Fleming, S.E. Killeffer, N. Fraley, L. Manne, J.L. Curnutt, T.M. Brooks, R. Powell, S.L. Pimm
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Animal Conservation
Series Number
Index ID 70020649
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization