The Georgia Coast is a region with incredible habitat for shorebirds throughout the year, ranging from expansive marshes, mud flats, and sand bars, to undeveloped barrier island beaches which provide sites for nesting, feeding and roosting. Its importance to shorebirds was formally recognized in 1999, when the Council of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) dedicated the Altamaha River Delta as a site of regional importance. In early 2016, the conservation organization One Hundred Miles and the Georgia Shorebird Alliance nominated Georgia’s barrier islands to be designated a WHSRN ‘Landscape of Hemispheric Importance’ for shorebirds. In May 2018, this designation was made official; it will bring increased awareness to our coastal region, promote its nature based economy, and bring international funding opportunities for conservation and research to our coast. In this talk, Abby and Tim will discuss shorebird ecology and conservation on the Georgia coast, conservation challenges, and explain in greater detail the recent WHSRN designation.
Speaker bios: Tim Keyes is a wildlife biologist with the nongame conservation section of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources. He also established and continues to organize the Youth Birding Competition and was an editor on Georgia’s Breeding Bird Atlas, and currently coordinates the Georgia Shorebird Alliance.Abby recently earned her doctorate from the University of Georgia, where she studied how habitat and landscape features influence beach nesting shorebirds and chick survival. This spring, Abby began working for Manomet, a non-profit based in Massachusetts with conservation projects throughout the hemisphere.