Hydrologic study reveals threats to Corkscrew Swamp

Disturbing trends in water loss present risk to the Sanctuary.

A study analyzing alarming hydrological changes at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary during the past 60 years was recently published in Wetland Science & Practice. The paper by Research Director Shawn Clem, Ph.D., and Michael J. Duever, Ph.D. unveiled disturbing trends in water loss and outlined threats and implications.

Wetland Science & Practice is a publication of the international group the Society of Wetland Scientists, which this year added Corkscrew to its list of Wetlands of Distinction.

The research supports Corkscrew’s assertion that the Sanctuary and surrounding watershed is at serious risk due to hydrologic change. This risk is in the form of changes in vegetation and wildlife habitat, changes and loss of wading birds and other aquatic-dependent species, and vulnerability to catastrophic wildfire.

While describing the problem was a first step, Corkscrew is now working to support a hydrologic modeling project that can help figure out causes, and give us direction on keeping the problem from getting worse (or hopefully reversing it).

Click here to read this studyHydrologic Changes over 60 Years (1959-2019) in an Old-Growth Bald Cypress Swamp on a Rapidly Developing Landscape.

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