GoMAMN Newsletter 10 October 2022

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View this in your browser. GoMAMN Newsletter: Issue 10

Greetings from the GoMAMN Coordination Committee! This is the tenth issue of the GoMAMN newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to share information about the Network and ongoing monitoring projects, along with news and opportunities relevant to our work as we collectively strive to advance bird conservation along the Gulf of Mexico. GoMAMN at Waterbirds 2022! The 46th Annual Conference of the Waterbird Society occurs October 31-November 4th, 2022, in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Gulf of Mexico Avian Monitoring Network will be the focus of a symposium at the conference. The symposium will include presentations from GoMAMN subject matter working groups highlighting ongoing monitoring work, as well as discussion of high priority monitoring needs that have not been addressed. Discussions will include several avian taxonomic groups, along with topics of relevance to all Gulf bird groups, such as offshore wind energy development. For more information on the conference, visit https://waterbirds.org/annual-meeting/ . Hope to see you there!

Team Member Spotlight: Terri Maness

Terri Maness is an Associate Professor and the Environmental Science Program Coordinator of Biological Sciences at Louisiana Tech University, and is currently Co-Chair of the GoMAMN Avian Health and Seabird Working Groups. In this interview, Terri will describe her background and varied experience working with avian health issues, and her ideas about advancing avian conservation in the Gulf of Mexico region.

Read the full interview here

Monitoring Project Highlight: The North American Breeding Bird Survey The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is a long-term, large-scale international avian monitoring program that relies on a combination of agency biologists and dedicated volunteers. The BBS is jointly coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the Canadian Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Research Center. The BBS is also conducted in portions of Mexico.

The roots of the BBS can be traced to the public awareness and concern generated by Rachel Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring, which described the effects of improper pesticide use, including dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), on birds and other wildlife. Ornithologist Chandler Robbins and colleagues at Patuxent Wildlife Center, whose work on pesticide impacts to birds informed Carson, conceived the idea of a bird survey that could be replicated over a large geographic area as a means to monitor bird populations at a regional or continental level.

Read more

Surveying shorebird habitat. Gulf Coast Joint Venture file photo.

Paper Highlight: Microplastics in the Gulf of Mexico by J.K. Grace, E. Duran, M.A. Ottinger, M.S. Woodrey, and T.J. Maness

Key Takeaway points:

The Gulf of Mexico region is home to the majority of plastic manufacturers in the United States. The authors synthesized existing knowledge regarding microplastic debris in the Gulf of Mexico and its effects on birds. Available information suggests that microplastics are widespread in the marine environment, come from known sources, and have the potential to be a major ecotoxicological concern for Gulf of Mexico birds. Major knowledge gaps exist regarding the effects of microplastics on Gulf of Mexico avian species; the authors identify priority monitoring and research needs. Read the full paper here

Litter in a wetland area. USFWS file photo.

Did you know? The female Baird’s Sandpiper (Caladris bairdii) lays a 4-egg clutch that may be 120% of her body mass.

News Alabama Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Progress Report 2022 Update

USGS releases map of irregularly flooded wetlands, high marsh and salt pannes/flats along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast

Florida TIG approves plan to enhance public access at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards nominates Atchafalaya Basin for consideration in NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve

Events 2022 Mississippi Restoration Summit November 10, 2022, Biloxi, Mississippi

Restore America’s Estuaries 2022 Coastal & Estuarine Summit December 4 – 8, 2022, New Orleans, Louisiana

American Oystercatcher Working Group Annual Meeting December 6 – 8, 2022, Naples, Florida

North American Arctic Goose Conference & Workshop December 6 – 10, 2022, Corpus Christi, Texas

Everglades Coalition Conference January 26-28, 2023, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Opportunities Texas OneGulf Community Resilience, Estuarine & Coastal Environments

For more information contact Auriel Fournier or Bill Vermillion