ACR researchers recently published a paper in Condor, Ornithological Applications, reporting trends of Tomales Bay shorebird populations. Overall, most species of shorebirds have declined substantially on Tomales Bay in the last 30 years.
Tomales Bay: An important wetland for wintering shorebirds
Each year tens of thousands of shorebirds breed in the high latitudes during the summer then migrate to warmer latitudes for the winter. Tomales Bay, located within the Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco Bay, has been recognized as an important wetland for these wintering shorebirds.
Across North America bird species—including shorebirds—are declining but it is often unclear how local factors across species’ ranges contribute to declines. Continent-wide trends are likely the result of multiple forces acting at multiple scales across space and time; however, to determine the true causes of continent-wide trends we need to understand the relative effects of multiple local factors.
For this paper, we set out to learn how abundance of wintering shorebirds on Tomales Bay has changed and whether these changes could be attributed to some local habitat and environmental changes.