U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Produced by The Wildlife Society in partnership with NRCS and FSA (2007). Online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/TECHNICAL/nri/ceap/fwresponse.html


Efforts to establish wetlands through restoration and creation actions have increased in recent decades in response to regulatory and voluntary incentive programs. This paper summarizes the findings of studies conducted to document fish and wildlife response to these practices. The majority of published studies describe bird response to wetland restoration, with most reporting bird communities in restored wetlands to be similar to those of natural reference wetlands. Studies also indicate that invertebrates and amphibians generally respond quickly to and colonize newly established wetland habitats. Key factors reported as correlated with wildlife species richness include wetland size, availability of nearby wetlands habitats, diversity of water depths and vegetation, wetland age, and maintenance and management activity. Key knowledge gaps in our understanding of fish and wildlife response to wetland establishment practices are identified, including the need for studies on biota other than birds and long-term monitoring of wetland condition and wildlife response over time.