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Diverse habitats help avoid 'bulk risk' - The Galveston County Daily News: Outdoors

August 27, 2016
Canny stewards

Diverse habitats help avoid 'bulk risk'

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Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:03 am

Many species of wading birds, such as egret, ibis and spoonbill, know to never over-fish. They know it instinctively and will leave a lagoon after feeding in it for a certain period of time.

Sometimes the tide works like a stopwatch and closes off the buffet for the waders. The birds will come back after their  food had a chance to recuperate and the floods have receded.

That is why we can observe short-distance migration patterns between areas along the Gulf Coast or even between wetland habitats on Galveston Island.

It is also a reason why it is so important to have a string of habitats along the Gulf Coast and not just a few big sanctuaries.

If an area suffers from pollution, as with the current oil spill, there needs to be other reserves to accommodate a larger number of animals close by. This diminishes the bulk risk of killing off bird colonies with one single incident.