Birds on the shore (IMAGE) Princeton University Caption ]Princeton researchers may have solved the long-standing puzzle of why migratory shorebirds around the world are plummeting several times faster than coastal ecosystems are being developed. They discovered that shorebirds overwhelmingly rely on the portion of tidal zones closest to dry land for food and rest as they migrate, which are the locations most often lost to development. The findings stress the need for integrating upper tidal flats into conservation plans focused on migratory shorebirds. Credit (Photo by Tong Mu, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) Usage Restrictions None License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.