Citizens help survey during the Christmas Bird Count

MAITLAND, Fla., Dec. 15, 2016 -- The St. Johns River Water Management District is partnering with the National Audubon Society for its 117th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Several district properties will host birdwatchers during the nationwide event.

MAITLAND, Fla., Dec. 15, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is partnering with the National Audubon Society for its 117th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Several district properties will host birdwatchers during the nationwide event.

“District properties play an important role in protecting our water resources, but also provide wildlife habitat,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We are happy for an opportunity to collaborate with Audubon and birders in our area on this annual census in recognition of the value of these lands for bird habitat.”

This nationwide wildlife census is organized by the National Audubon Society. Each count takes place in a 15-mile diameter circle where every bird sited is included in the count, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.

The district regularly partners with local chapters of Audubon Florida to benefit Florida’s natural resources. For the Christmas Bird Count, the district helps by providing access to land and, in some cases, providing staff to participate in the count. Multiple district properties will host count circles, including:

  • Lake Apopka North Shore in Lake and Orange counties
  • Moses Creek Conservation Area in St. Johns County
  • Parts of Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park in Orange County
  • Parts of Seminole Ranch Conservation Area in Seminole County
  • Parts of Canaveral Marshes Conservation Area in Brevard County

Data collection during the count provides not only an assessment of the long-term health and status of bird populations but also contributes to the district’s species list for each property.

The nationwide, volunteer-driven event runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5. For more information about the Christmas Bird Count, including maps and how to participate, visit http://www.audubon.org/join-christmas-bird-count.

To learn more about district property visit www.sjrwmd.com/recreation.