Shiloh Shulte, Ph.D
SENIOR SHOREBIRD SCIENTIST
It’s time to toot a collective horn with some good news shared at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Oystercatcher Working Group, held last month in Plymouth at the Wildlands Trust – just a few miles away from Manomet as the, ahem, Oystercatcher flies.
There has been an estimated 45% INCREASE in the American Oystercatcher population along the U.S. Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico coast since 2008, and nearly 20% in just the last five years! In this day and age of declining biodiversity and threats to coastal ecosystems, the increase is noteworthy and a testament to the positive impact of the concerted and focused effort by the Working Group to recover this formerly declining species.
Manomet’s Shiloh Schulte, Senior Shorebird Scientist, worked with 22 partner groups to conduct an aerial survey of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states last winter counting American Oystercatchers, the fourth complete survey since 2003. Aerial surveys combine with ground/sea counts and photographic confirmation to provide accurate data. The success of the continued recovery will depend on steady vigilance and funding support into the future.