Red Knots & Semipalmated Sandpipers

Laguna Madre (Mustang Island, and Padre Island)

Country: USA

Region: Texas,

Nearest city/town: Corpus Christi

Site: Laguna Madre (Mustang Island, and Padre Island)

Species/Sub-species: REKN-rufa

Total biogeographic population: 42,000

Count Method: Maximum day count

Count: 2,5471

% biogeographic pop. at site: 101.88

Season (primarily): Winter, Spring and Fall

Site recognition: WHSRN

Site recognition (other): Mustang Island State Park and Padre Island National Seashore

Site description: Using the Ramsar Classification System for Wetland Type, the site's habitat characteristics are marine and coastal (intertidal mud and sand). Land ownership and management along both Mustang and North Padre Islands is comprised of a matrix of jurisdictions including county- and city-managed beaches that are sometimes raked and “cleaned” of debris including naturally occurring wrack) and public lands (Mustang Island State Park and Padre Island National Seashore) which do minimal beach alteration. Existing knowledge about the site is being gathered through past and planned shorebird research (geolocators from 2009-2012). A radiotelemetry project and aerial surveys are in progress to elucidate movements and habitat usage during the summer1.

Known threats: In terms of land use change, infrastructure (wind farms) is a threat to the site. Pullution and contaminants also pose a threat (there are hundreds of contaminants in Harlingen, Texas). Damaging recreational use is also a threat, as people in cars or motorcycles for recreation (on Island) affects 90% of shorebirds at the site. Lastly, there is a high threat of physical alteration of the site due to drought and desertification.

Notes: REKN-roselaari also uses this site. For REKN-rufa maximum day count, the source is B. Sandifer, pers. comm. in Newstead et al. 2013.

Sources: 1Newstead, D.J., Niles, L.J., Porter, R.R., Dey, A.D., Burger, J. & Fitzsimmons, O.N. 2013. Geolocation reveals mid-continent migratory routes and Texas wintering areas of Red Knots Calidris canutus rufa. Wader Study Group Bull. 120(1): 53–59.