The WHSRN (Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network) Hemispheric Council designated Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS) as a member of the existing binational Laguna Madre Site of International Importance to shorebirds. WHSRN is a world-wide organization formed by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and encompasses 66 sites in 9 countries. Padre Island National Seashore is the first National Park Service unit to join WHSRN. The existing binational Laguna Madre Site also includes Laguna Atascosa NWR managed by the USFWS, portions of South Padre Island managed by The Nature Conservancy, and portions of the Laguna Madre de Tamaulipas in Mexico, managed by Pro Natura. The council’s decision was based on the tremendous number of shorebirds using the site, its ecological significance for the integrity of the Laguna Madre system, and consent of PAIS’s management to make shorebird conservation a priority. To become a WHSRN site of International Importance, a site must contain over 100,000 shorebirds annually or at least 10% of a shorebird population. Among the impressive shorebird counts that led to the designation are those of 588 Piping Plovers, Charadrius melodus, representing roughly 10% of the world’s population, and 373,000 Western Sandpipers, Calidris mauri, seen just outside the park’s boundary. A designation ceremony is scheduled for October 12, 2007. More information about WHSRN can be found at http://www.whsrn.org.
Last updated: February 24, 2015