The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) is listed as a Species of High Concern in the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan due to a small population size and threats during its annual cycle. Previous studies of the American Oystercatcher have focused on Atlantic Coast populations; however, nothing is known about the reproductive success of the western Gulf Coast population. The objective of this study was to determine nest and brood survival of American Oystercatchers in Texas. I monitored 337 nests and 121 broods on the Gulf Coast of Texas during 2011-2013. Overall daily survival rate (DSR) of nests was 0.971 (SE=0.002), and DSR of broods was 0.986 (SE=0.002). Temporal effects were important in explaining variation in survival, with survival decreasing as the season progressed. Known causes of nest and brood loss included overwash, depredation, and starvation. This study provides baseline data on the reproductive success of the American Oystercatcher along the western Gulf Coast.
January 22, 2016
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