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Use of rice fields by migratory shorebirds in southern South America. Implications for conservation and management

This publication includes the results of an international project aimed to assess the value of rice fields as non-breeding habitat for migratory shorebirds in southern South America.


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Numerous studies document the role of rice fields as a foraging habitat for waterbirds, and in particular for migratory shorebirds in the Northern Hemisphere. Rice fields function as artificial wetlands, providing feeding habitat for numerous species, at least during part of the lifecycle of the crop, but at the same time they may result as a serious threat due to the use of agrochemicals associated with rice production. The aim of the present project was to assess the use of rice fields by migratory shorebirds in southern South America, contributing valuable unpublished information for their conservation. 

This publication is for decision makers and technicians who work in biodiversity conservation in South American agroecosystems. It comprises a revision of current knowledge on the use of rice fields by waterbirds, and also the results of the project, including data on shorebird abundance in rice fields in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, as well as an analysis of use in function of the crop’s cycle.

This project and the present publication were made possible thanks to the financial support of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / USF&WS).

Quotation: Blanco, D.E., B. López-Lanús, R.A. Dias, A. Azpiroz & F. Rilla. 2006. Uso de arroceras por chorlos y playeros migratorios en el sur de América del Sur. Implicancias de conservación y manejo. Wetlands International. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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