Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) foraging flight studies at 20 colonies throughout the US range were reviewed to summarize foraging ranges and compared to 20, 25 and 30 km-wide regulatory buffers (“core foraging areas”) created to provide sufficient foraging habitats for breeding storks. Mean (per colony) direct distances to foraging sites ranged from 2.7 to 18.1 km, and between 75-100% of all follow flights went to foraging sites within 20 km of their colony. Overall, reviewed follow flight data suggested that the 20-km buffer would be sufficient for all breeding colonies in the US. However, such a reduction is not supported at this time due to limited recent data for certain regions of the Wood Stork breeding range (e.g. central and southern Florida). Additional, preferably multi-year, foraging habitat use studies are needed to fill data gaps for these areas to better assess the validity of the CFA buffers.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2