Saltmarsh Sparrows Discovered In Florida

By  //  December 26, 2013

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saltmarsh sparrow classified as “Vulnerable”

saltmarsh-sparrows-585

Although saltmarsh sparrows do not nest in Florida, many saltmarsh sparrows winter in the salt marshes of northeast Florida. Researchers are interested in salt marsh species because salt marshes are disappearing in many areas throughout the country. (Images by Pat Leary and Erin Ragheb, FWC)

Two banded saltmarsh sparrows have been found by researchers from the University of Connecticut and FWC.

These bands show these birds flew in from New England, and for the first time, researchers know from where wintering birds migrate. While often lumped with the other “little brown birds,” this sparrow is strikingly rich in color when seen close up.

Due to loss of habitat and the danger that sea level rise poses to salt marshes, the saltmarsh sparrow has been classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Florida, along with many other Atlantic states.

myfwc-180Due to loss of habitat and the danger that sea level rise poses to salt marshes, the saltmarsh sparrow has been classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Florida, along with many other Atlantic states.

Although these birds do not nest in our state, many saltmarsh sparrows winter in the salt marshes of northeast Florida. Researchers are interested in salt marsh species because salt marshes are disappearing in many areas throughout the country.

Salt marshes are not only important for native breeding birds and wintering species, but also provide habitat for many marine species, can improve water quality by acting as nature’s filter, and protect coastlines from storms.


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