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


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nott, MP; Bass, OL; Fleming, DM; Killeffer, SE; Fraley, N; Manne, L; Curnutt, JL; Brooks, TM; Powell, R; Pimm, SL

Published Date

  • January 1, 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 23 - 32

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1367-9430

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S1367943098001036

Citation Source

  • Scopus