Swallow-tailed kite Census
Prior to the 1900s, Swallow-tailed kites nested in 21 states throughout their range, but a sharp decline in their population brought that range down to just seven states and less than 2,500 breeding pairs. Since the late 1980s, the Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) has studied and tracked breeding pairs, habitat use and the location of nests to gather data that will be used to enact laws to protect their future.
Over the past seven years, ARCI has tagged 101 Swallow-tailed kites with radio transmitters to help track their migration routes, where they are flying to and their nest sites. Knowing this information will help protect these areas and conserve the species for future generations.
Last year, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG) helped fund an aerial survey to identify breeding roosts and count birds. JZG has again agreed, along with the Florida Aquarium, to fund the survey in 2016.
For additional information about Swallow-tailed kites, and what ARCI is doing to understand and protect these birds, visit their website.