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Accession Number 5001819

Title Selected bird species nesting in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Project Description Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a unit of the National Park Services Gateway National Recreation

Area in the greater New York metropolitan area, houses a large assemblage of avian wildlife during

all seasons of the year. In the summer, very large numbers of gulls nest in the Refuge, creating

problems with airspace at the adjacent JF Kennedy International Airport. Legal challenges have

developed over the years, with a great deal of controversy surrounding the current gull shooting

program that has been permitted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and carried out by the

APHIS program of the Department of Agriculture. To more effectively make management decisions

regarding the gull problem, the National Park Service invited Patuxent to conduct research to

obtain an objective assessment of the habitat needs, productivity, mortality, and seasonal

movements of the three major gull species in the Refuge. The field work is being carried out by

researchers associated with the New York Cooperative Research Unit at Cornell University. The

current research plan calls for three years of breeding success evaluation for Laughing Gulls as a

major focus, with seasonal movements, habitat use, and diet as other areas of investigation. In

addition, similar efforts are being directed at Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls in the Bay.

After this three year plan, two addition years of funding are available for supplementary research.

Radiotelemetric techniques may be attempted in those years on selected gulls.

Keywords gulls, habitat, jamaica bay, movements, national park service, nesting, trends, waterbirds,

Principal R. M Erwin, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: rme5g@virginia.edu; Milo E Richmond,

Investigators New York Cooperative Research Unit: mer6@cornell.edu;

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