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South Florida Wading Bird Study

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The mainland Everglades covers approximately 1500 square miles and represents the largest roadless area in the United States south of Alaska. Our work is focused primarily in the Water Conservation Areas shown at right. Gray lines depict air survey transects. Although most of the numerous canals can be accessed with standard motorboats, moving farther into the shallow "slough and strand" sawgrass environment requires the use of airboats.

Of course, not all our work can be done from atop the boats. We enter breeding colonies on foot to mark and monitor the nests of multiple wading bird species. These checks are done in the cooler morning or evening periods of the day and for no more than 60 consecutive minutes to minimize our impact on the colony.

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