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Title: California least tern foraging ecology in Southern California : a review of foraging behavior relative to proposed dredging locations
Authors: Keane, Kathy.
Smith, Lawrence J.
Keywords: Sternula antillarum--Food--Effect of dredging on.
Sternula antillarum--Habitat.
Nest building
Endangered species
California, Southern
Pacific Coast (Calif.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers.
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Dredging Operations and Environmental Research Program (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/EL ; CR-16-3
Description: Contract Report
Abstract: The California least tern (Sternula antillarum browni, hereafter CLT), one of three subspecies of Least Tern, nests along the west coast of North America. Foraging occurs in bays, lagoons, estuaries, tidal marshes, river mouths, ponds and lakes, as well as in offshore deep-water habitats by plunge-diving for fish. Fifty species of prey fish have been identified as potential CLT prey. The CLT, listed as endangered by the federal and California Endangered Species Acts, is afforded protection at its nesting sites in California. The relative importance of various foraging areas and foraging habitats near CLT nesting sites has not been evaluated, nor has official protection been designated to any CLT foraging areas, aside from seasonal limits on dredging sites recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Los Angeles District conducts maintenance dredging along the California coast to ensure navigational access. Some of these sites are within foraging distance of CLT nesting areas. Dredging activities were generally limited to periods outside the CLT nesting season (April 15 to September 15) in order to avoid potential adverse effects on CLT foraging due to turbidity. This report summarizes the results of a literature review on studies and observations of CLT foraging and studies on the behavior of CLT forage fish in turbidity plumes. Results suggest that dredging activities may not substantially alter CLT foraging activity and seasonal restrictions on dredging near active CLT nesting sites provide no protections to this species and are not warranted.
Appears in Collections:Contract Report

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