Monday, March 10, 2014

Limpkin

Limpkins were common along the the Lake in Limoncocha, Ecuador, where Erika and I studied birds for 14 months in 1975. Not until our Florida roadtrip in 2010 did we add the species to our United States birdlist. I have previously blogged about this odd bird, but thought I would share another photo from that trip. I took this photo just west of Fort Meyers.

Limpkins are cursed because they eat almost nothing but Apple Snails. Nevertheless the species is found from Florida, south through the Caribbean and South and Central America. In Florida, the destruction of wetlands, for agriculture, flood control, or development has decimated Apple Snail populations, and consequently has caused Limpkins to decline. Over half the Florida wetlands in southern Florida have been lost (Bryan 2002), but wetland restoration projects give some cause for hope for the future of both the snail and the bird.

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