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Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1730130, 13 pages
Research Article

Winter Waterbird Community Composition and Use at Created Wetlands in West Virginia, USA

1School of Natural Resources, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 6125, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
2West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 99, Farmington, WV 26571, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Hannah L. Clipp

Received 9 November 2016; Revised 14 February 2017; Accepted 19 February 2017; Published 12 March 2017

Academic Editor: Dong Xie

Copyright © 2017 Hannah L. Clipp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Information on nonbreeding waterbirds using created wetlands in the Central Appalachian region of the United States is limited. We compared waterbird communities of two managed wetlands, created in 2013 and 2001, in West Virginia. We observed 27 species of waterbirds. Species richness and diversity were generally similar between the wetlands, but species composition and use differed. Branta canadensis (Canada Geese), Anas strepera (Gadwall), Bucephala albeola (Buffleheads), Aythya affinis (Lesser Scaup), and Aythya collaris (Ring-Necked Ducks) used the older wetland most frequently. Disparities in species use were the highest in March. The older wetland differed from the younger in supporting species such as diving ducks, possibly due to differences in size, vegetation, water depth, and microtopography. However, the ability to provide habitat for waterbirds during the winter was determined to be comparable between wetlands, despite their age difference.