EWN Publications

Birds of the Savannah Harbor Navigation Project, Dredged Material Disposal Areas, 1994 – 2012

J. Stevan Calver, Michael P. Guilfoyle, Richard A. Fischer, and Ellie L. Covington
March 28, 2016

About This Publication

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, has been responsible for monthly avian community monitoring on the dredged material containment areas (DMCAs) as part of the Savannah Harbor Navigation Project since 1994 to the present. This report summarizes the results of this monitoring effort from 1994 to 2012. During this period, over 6.9 million birds of 298 species were detected. These results are discussed in relation to the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and specifically to the South Atlantic Region, where birds have been ranked according to their need of conservation effort. The SHNP DMCAs were found to support 22 of 36 designated Highest Priority Species, 70 of 90 High Priority Species, and 40 of 41 Moderate Priority Species. These results suggest that the SHNP DMCAs provide important habitat in the region, and may provide a critical link to buffer some priority species from becoming rarer. The report recommends that the Savannah District continues monitoring efforts, but should link the effort with Department of Defense (DoD) Coordinated Bird Monitoring efforts. In addition, data for the monitoring effort could be subjected to rigorous statistical procedures to test hypotheses concerning the success of current management efforts for the benefit of the bird community. The management approach established on the DMCAs could serve as an example for management of other Confined Disposal Facilities nationwide.

Research Projects

The USACE Savannah District conducted bimonthly bird surveys from 1994 to 2012 on six dredged material containment areas (DMCAs) located on the South Carolina side of the Savannah Harbor. The DMCAs are included in a l...