Wading bird nests in the Everglades were at their lowest number last year since 2008.
Scientists worry the findings point to problems in the watershed.
The South Florida Water Management District report shows the number of wading bird nests in the Everglades was down by more than a third compared with the 10-year annual average.
Mark Cook was an editor on the report. He points to last winter’s rainy weather, which disrupted the birds’ food supply. But he says long-term trends also are troubling.
“In terms of restoring the system the long-term trends are generally revealing that we need restoration. We need to get more water back into the system.”
Little blue herons fared the worst, with nesting that was down 61 percent. Snowy egrets and white ibises also struggled. But nesting was up for the flamingo-like roseate spoonbills.
A multi-billion dollar restoration of the Everglades is aimed at improving water flow.