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Title: Coastal Forests of the Gulf of Mexico: A Description and Some Thoughts on Their Conservation

Author: Barrow, W. C.; Johnson Randall, L. A.; Woodrey, M. S.; Cox, J.; Ruelas I., E.; Riley, C. M.; Hamilton, R. B.; Eberly, C.;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 1 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Millions of Nearctic-Neotropical landbirds move through the coastal forests of the Gulf of Mexico each spring and autumn as they migrate across and around the gulf. Migration routes in the gulf region are not static—they shift year to year and season to season according to prevailing wind patterns. Given the dynamic nature of migration routes, coastal forests around the Gulf of Mexico potentially can provide important stopover habitat to en route migrants. The coastal forests from the Florida Keys to the Yucatan Peninsula include a wide range of habitat types that we have classified as 19 broad community types. From literature reviews, we determined that the majority of these coastal habitats have been lost or degraded due to the effects of development, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber industry activities, and the spread of exotic species. The continued loss and degradation of coastal forests pose a risk to migrating birds, and thus we need to develop a conservation strategy that maximizes the suitability of the remaining forested patches around the gulf. An effective conservation strategy will require considerations at the gulf-wide, regional, landscape and habitat levels. These considerations should include migrant movement and landfall patterns, migrant use of inland versus coastal fringe stopover sites, the creation of landscape mosaics that incorporate patch size and inter-patch distance, and the availability of within habitat resources.

Keywords: coastal forest, conservation, Gulf of Mexico, landbird, migration, Nearctic-Neotropical migrant, stopover habitat

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Barrow, W. C.; Johnson Randall, L. A.; Woodrey, M. S.; Cox, J.; Ruelas I., E.; Riley, C. M.; Hamilton, R. B.; Eberly, C. 2005. Coastal Forests of the Gulf of Mexico: A Description and Some Thoughts on Their Conservation. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 1 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p.

 


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