22 Jun '11, 4pm

How can bird poop restore damaged seagrass beds?

Brown Pelican, Loggerhead Key, Dry Tortugas National Park. © Ross Geredien What kind of birds use the bird stakes? It varies by season. In the spring and summer, brown pelicans are dominant in the Perdido Bay area. In the winter it’s the double-breasted cormorant. But other birds use the roosts as well, including gulls, terns, herons and egrets. Seagrass beds, sometimes called “the prairies of the sea”, span hundreds of thousands of acres in the Gulf of Mexico. Here in Florida, we enjoy some of the world’s best. These vast fields of green are underwater meadows that: Protect water clarity, Dampen wave action, Prevent shoreline erosion, Provide food and shelter for juvenile fish and shrimp, and Offer habitat for manatees, sea turtles, and sea horses. But seagrass beds are dying at an alarming rate – reduced as much as 90 percent in some bays across the Gulf. The Conservancy...

Full article: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica...

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