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Partner Naturecoast

Nature Coast Shorebird Partnership


Location: Taylor, Dixie, Levy, and Citrus Counties

Formed: October 2009

Meet twice a year, in the spring and fall, usually via conference call because our partners are spread out.

Initiated in 2009, the mission of the Nature Coast Shorebird Partnership is to conserve shorebird and seabird populations in Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, and Hernando counties through collaborative efforts between government agencies, non-government organizations, and individuals.

From a landscape perspective, the Nature Coast is unique in many ways. Calm seas have permitted saltmarsh to dominate this stretch of coastline and conversely, prevented the formation of barrier islands and sandy beaches. As the name suggests, this region of Florida is comparatively undeveloped with large areas protected in public ownership.

The Nature Coast supports a wide diversity of shorebirds and seabirds, particularly migratory and wintering species which congregate on the vast network of tidal mudflats in impressive numbers. Furthermore, recent studies indicate this region is globally significant for certain species, such as American Oystercatchers- roughly ten percent of the population from eastern North America winters along the Nature Coast. However, much remains to be learned about the birds of the Nature Coast and the issues affecting them.

Partnership activities include: 1) conducting and supporting shorebird and seabird research in the region, 2) monitoring and managing priority sites within the region, 3) conservation planning (i.e. identifying needs and developing strategies), and 4) community outreach (i.e. increasing public awareness of conservation issues related to shorebirds and seabirds). Members of the partnership coordinate activities via email and at seasonally scheduled meetings.



Click here to see the latest information and news from the Nature Coast Shorebird Partnership.


Fun facts

- The first Least Tern colony documented in the Cedar Key area was in 2012. Fledglings were first documented this year.

- This is the first year the "road to nowhere" (just south of Steinhatchee) was surveyed. We documented Wilson’s Plover and Willet nesting about a mile from the Gulf in patches of marsh mixed with limestone outcroppings. The plovers were very successful in this habitat and prey (fiddler crabs) are abundant.

- Limestone is the primary substrate that shorebirds and seabirds use for nesting on the Cross FL Barge Canal Spoil Islands. They share these islands with a nesting colony of Black-Crowned Night Herons.

- The Nature Coast is one of the most logistically challenging areas of Florida to survey because many of the routes are accessible only by boat.


Nesting Species

Wilson's Plover     Charadrius wilsonia
American Oystercatcher     Haematopus palliatus
Willet     Tringa semipalmata
Laughing Gull     Leucophaeus atricilla
Black Skimmer     Rynchops niger
Least Tern     Sternula antillarum



If you have questions, please contact us.


FWC Audubon UFWS