Our Major Conservation Project
This award-winning project began as the St. Johns County Least Tern Project in the spring of 2007. Armed with a grant from Audubon of Florida, the chapter set out to develop a program for protecting and monitoring nesting sites of Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers. In order to accomplish this goal, we formed the St. Johns County Shorebird Partnership, the second such partnership in Florida. The partnership includes: St Johns County Audubon Society, Audubon of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida State Parks, Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Ft. Matanzas National Monument, and St. Johns County.
Our efforts are twofold. Our volunteers assist agency partners in posting nesting sites. Once posted, our dedicated Bird Steward volunteers monitor the sites on weekends and holidays. Their duties include making sure nothing disturbs or threatens the nesting birds. The Stewards also actively engage the public to make people aware of the necessity of protecting the birds and their nesting habitats. They also collect scientific data by surveying the birds and nesting sites on a year round basis.
The Project has had some significant accomplishments. Most notably, through the efforts of Audubon of Florida and the St Johns Shorebird Partnership, vehicle traffic was stopped at Matanzas Inlet. In addition, vehicles are restricted during the nesting season on Porpoise Point. We provide Bird Stewards at Matanzas Inlet and Porpoise Point on weekends and holidays. When Anastasia State Park and Summerhaven have significant colonies, we monitor those too. Through the efforts of the Stewards we have fostered a greater public understanding of the needs of beach dependent birds. Our surveys help budget-strapped agencies which don’t have the manpower to collect data they need to make informed management decisions.
In recognition of the project’s success, The St Johns County Audubon Society was awarded Audubon of Florida’s Conservation Chapter of the Year award for 2007. In 2010, the Project’s Bird Stewards were again recognized by Audubon of Florida for their conservation efforts on behalf of beach-dependent birds.
Anyone interested in being a part of this important endeavor may contact:
Conservation Chair, St. Johns County Audubon Society
323 Arpieka Ave.
St. Augustine, FL 32080
904 - 819-5860 or click here
Other Chapter Conservation Activities
Click on the links below.
Peregrine Falcon Study
This survey was initiated through the efforts of Dr. Robert Stoll, who was the counts first director. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Stoll for his guidance and coordination of the falcon count, the results of which are forwarded to the Hawk Migration Association of North America.