University of Florida

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LeAnn White, a University of Florida graduate student in Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, conducted research under the direction of Dr. Marty Main on the Habitat Value of Golf Course Wetlands to Waterbirds. The work resulted in several specific design recommendations for golf course ponds:

  1. “One general recommendation is to increase the diversity in the design of golf course ponds to provide a local wetland complex that permits more management opportunities for providing suitable habitat for multiple species of waterbirds. Creating variable structure and density of vegetation in and around golf course ponds will increase the amount of suitable habitat available for a greater number of species.”
  2. “…increasing the littoral zone (shallow water areas) in golf course ponds would most likely make prey more accessible to birds such as wading birds that require shallow (e.g., <40 cm) water depths for foraging.”
  3. “…increasing the number of vegetated islands may also increase the number of birds that are able to find suitable nesting habitat on golf course ponds.”
    It is noteworthy that the fieldwork in this study was conducted on golf courses built by the Bonita Bay Group, an active cooperator in this project. Furthermore, the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program has requested detailed information on the recommendations for application to their gold course program