Urban land use and movements of White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) in South Florida
Welch, Catharine Noelle
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We investigated White Ibis movements in an urban landscape by monitoring radio-tagged ibises (n=28) for one year. During the non-breeding season, 12 ibises were detected on >50% of surveys in urban areas and detected within three kilometers, on average, of their original capture site; only seven were detected on <10% of surveys. Additionally, we radio-tagged 145 ibises at the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) and monitored for two years. Site fidelity decreased over time at SWA, because of multiple factors including the installation of a waste combustor, which reduced garbage on the landfill. Our results show that “urbanized” ibises show high site fidelity to and spend most of their annual cycle in urban areas where they find year-round resources. This is the first study on the movement patterns of a recently urbanized wading bird, allowing us to make predictions on the likely effects of urbanization on ibis behavior, ecology and health.