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Tuesday, January 30 • 10:20am - 10:40am
SYMPOSIA-08: Guiding Wetland Restoration in the Calumet Region of Illinois and Indiana Through Monitoring Breeding Marsh Birds

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AUTHORS. Stephanie Beilke, Nat Miller, Walter Marcisz - Audubon Great Lakes

ABSTRACT. Despite no net loss of Calumet Region wetlands (located along the south shore of Lake Michigan) since the 1990s, local marsh bird populations have seriously declined in the last 30 years due to substantial habitat degradation related to impaired hydrology, poor water quality and encroachment of invasive species. In 2015, Audubon Great Lakes brought together the Calumet Wetland Working Group, a coalition of land managers, scientists and conservationists, to assess current and potential wetlands and formulate action plans to restore and maintain Calumet wetlands. As part of the working group’s assessment strategy, Audubon initiated monitoring of breeding marsh birds in Calumet wetlands with the intention of using monitoring data to inform key landowners of how restoration actions are affecting bird populations. Audubon has since documented local increases of marsh bird populations as well as the return of several conservative bird species in wetlands that have undergone restoration. Guided management activities have included herbicide and burning regimes to control invasive Common Reed (Phragmites australis), implementation of water control structures, control of invasive Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), and planting of native wetland vegetation. Audubon is ensuring a positive future for Calumet wetlands by continuing to strengthen local partnerships, broadcasting the importance of healthy wetlands, and expanding our monitoring and conservation work in a challenging, urban landscape.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am CST