In May 2018, Manomet’s Shorebird Habitat Management Division facilitated exchanges between shorebird regions and conservation practitioners in the Central Flyway through two events. In early May, we hosted a Shorebird Conservation Action Symposium in Cheyenne Bottoms, Kansas, with The Nature Conservancy. In late May, we held a Shorebird Conservation, Management, and Monitoring workshop in southwest Manitoba in collaboration with Nature Conservancy Canada, Bird Studies Canada, Manitoba Important Bird Areas, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the West Souris River Conservation District.
Cheyenne Bottoms is one of the largest interior marshes in the United States and has been a site of Hemispheric Importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) for 30 years. Of the 52 shorebird species that occur in North America, 37 are found in the Great Plains; half of these species are considered of high conservation concern or worse. Migratory shorebirds passing through the mid-continent are subject to unpredictable weather patterns and a landscape of ephemeral wetlands in which to find their food. Water levels at Cheyenne Bottoms vary on a regular basis, but the basin provides some of the most reliable food resources for shorebirds in the region.