Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Preliminary AAfCW 2014 stats

We wanted to provide you with some preliminary statistics from the 2014 Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds monitoring season from Audubon Connecticut and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. These numbers are not from CT DEEP or USFWS and not official in that they reflect only AAfCW's data and information. The data is still changing as well - hours are still being accumulated, volunteers recruited, birds being recorded and so forth. There are some great success stories coming out of the 2014 nesting season and without your help none of this would have been possible!
  • Piping Plovers pairs successfully fledged 97 young across Connecticut beaches in 2014, a sum that would be the second highest total ever for a year in the state! This very strong number included fledged birds from sites such as Short Beach in Stratford and Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport that had Piping Plovers as historic breeders but none in recent years.
  • Over AAfCW 387 volunteers combined their efforts to put in 2,200+ hours of stewardship and monitoring, conservation surveys, education and outreach in Connecticut. Both of these totals will be increasing through the remainder of the year and are a testament to your devotion to the program!
  • We surveyed and recorded 51 species of shorebirds, terns and long-legged waders at over 183 important sites in Connecticut including barrier beaches, offshore islands, tidal marshes, inland waterways, wet meadows, grasslands, and other critically important or endangered habitats.
  • American Oystercatchers were discovered on 33 sites in Connecticut in 2014 with 124 individuals (42 breeding pairs, 40 non-breeding individuals) recorded. Those pairs successfully fledged 26 chicks. Nest failures took place at 20 of 42 nests, all believed to be due to predation, an issue we will continue to work on in future seasons. The good news is that there were no failures due to humans thanks to our collectively vigilant stewardship efforts.
  • Least and Common Tern numbers are still being calculated after a difficult year for terns in general throughout all of the Northeast and much of the Atlantic. In our case we had low numbers attempting to nest - something beyond our control - and did have some decent productivity and a couple of success stories from specific sites thanks to the hard work of volunteers, staff, state officials and partners.
Thank you all so very much for your tireless work throughout the spring and summer and, for some of you, year-round! We at AAfCW will stay engaged throughout the year and are already preparing for the 2015 nesting season as well. As always please email us at ctwaterbirds@gmail.com if you have any questions, want to sign up to assist in other ways or are looking to join our efforts for the first time.

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