Document Type



wetlands, wetland birds, wetland restoration, wetland ecology, restoration ecology, waterfowl, wetland management, Iowa


Wetlands within wetland complexes in northwestern, north-central, and central Iowa were surveyed for bird use in 1997 and 1998. Species occurrence, species richness, and density of nesting species were related to wetland habitat variables. A habitat diversity index measuring the evenness of distribution of the different habitats within a wetland was the best predictor of species richness in both years. The habitat diversity index was also the best predictor of the occurrence of individual species in both 1997 and 1998. Eight of 11 species (7 3%) in 1997 and 13 of 18 species (72%) in 1998 had greater densities in smaller wetlands. The probability of occurrence and density of individual species also were related to one or more other variables, such as the percent of the wetland that was covered by the different vegetation zones. Most species were more likely to be present and in greater abundance in wetlands that contained more of their preferred nesting habitat. Wetland restoration priorities should emphasize restoring groups of wetlands of a variety of sizes and types to attract the greatest diversity of wetland species as well as greater densities of individual species. If a species is of management concern, those factors that are associated with a greater probability of occurrence and/or a greater density should be considered when selecting sites to restore to wetland conditions.

Publication Date

March 2001

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science





First Page


Last Page



© Copyright 2001 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



File Format