Snail Kite Conservation
Palm Beach Zoo staff participates in tagging adult snail kites with solar telemetry followed up by field observations to determine nesting and roosting sites. The new data will be used to extrapolate over 20 years of historical markers to create a more cogent understanding of the needs of this indicator species for the Everglades Restoration Project. The data will be made available to wildlife agencies as well as local city and county agencies interested in protecting both the snail kite and the water conditions that the human community and birds require.
Listed federally as an endangered species since 1967, this bird requires high-quality clear water at just the right depth to survive. This is an indicator species of how well the restoration of the Everglades is progressing and requires important roosting and nesting habitat within 10 miles of our Zoo. One of the key sites serves as the basis for the drinking water for three cities in Palm Beach County. This habitat is periodically threatened by development.
The primary investigators are with Avian Research Conservation Institute (ARCI). Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management (ERM) assists with finding nests and providing access. Palm Beach Zoo staff, board members, volunteers, and the community are enlisted to participate.
Our Zoo avian team assists with catching and tagging the kites with the telemetry funded by our Zoo.
Annually, the field work begins in February and runs through August.