Determination of breeding success rates of endangered species such as the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) and reasons for their variation are vital information needed for monitoring recovery efforts. To provide information in the northern portion of their breeding range, breeding success rates were monitored for nine stork colonies in Georgia and South Carolina in 2004 and 2005. Overall success rates were very high in 2004 (N = 421, x̄ = 2.3 fledged young per nesting attempt), with slightly greater success in inland colonies as compared to coastal colonies. Overall success rates declined in 2005 (N = 359, x̄ = 1.6 fledged young per nesting attempt), with slightly greater success in coastal colonies as compared to inland colonies. Reduced success in 2005 may be due to elevated mid-breeding season rainfall and its negative effects on prey availability. Examination of longer-term breeding success at multiple Georgia stork colonies relative to annual rainfall showed no consistent trends between success and mid-season rainfall. A moderate positive association was found between pre-breeding season rainfall and success for coastal, but not inland, colonies.
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Vol. 31 • No. sp1