Changes in land cover and nesting habitat for the interior least tern and piping plover along the Missouri River: 1983-1991

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Noble, Todd D
earth sciences; physical geography
thesis / dissertation description
This thesis examines land cover changes that affect shorebird habitat at four sites along the Missouri River using wetland habitat and hydrologic data. Wetland habitat data was aggregated into four land cover categories, including one which corresponded with potential shorebird nesting habitat. Type, location, and quantity of land cover changes at each site were determined between 1983 and 1991. Impacts upon tern and plover nesting habitat were assessed by analyzing changes in the corresponding land cover category. Associated hydrologic information, including gage heights and discharge records, were utilized to help understand local conditions. It was found that there were substantial changes in shorebird habitat over the study period. Greenwood, the furthest site upstream, exhibited a habitat loss of 305 acres due to vegetative encroachment. The Niobrara site, further downstream, had an increase in habitat of 343 acres because of aggradation from Niobrara River sediment and rising river stages.