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Waterfowl in Winter

Waterfowl in Winter

Copyright Date: 1988
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 648
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  • Book Info
    Waterfowl in Winter
    Book Description:

    The emphasis in research on waterfowl has traditionally focused on breeding as opposed to migrant or wintering birds. Scientists have long been interested in courtship, nest sites, laying, and brood-rearing, and they have also been concerned about losses of eggs, young, nesting hens, and breeding habitats, especially as they have affected the goal of increasing populations. But lately there has been an upsurge of interest and research on the migratory and wintering phases, and this volume offers ample evidence of the knowledge gained._x000B_The authors - 105 waterfowl biologists - have contributed 47 chapters that range geographically from Alaska to northern South America, and from the Pacific Northwest to Nova Scotia and Florida. Their subjects include:_x000B_--distributional changes due to human influence_x000B_--population trends and concerns over less common species_x000B_--pairing and other behavior that occurs in the wintering areas and is vital to the success of the species_x000B_--feeding ecology and body condition during winter_x000B_--new habitats created by such activities as aquaculture and park development_x000B_--losses of habitat due to development and drainage for alternate uses_x000B_--lead poisoning and pollutants that are detrimental to waterfowl_x000B_--habitat management for maintenance of successful populations now and in the future_x000B_Also presented are reports of workshop discussions outlining current issues and future research needs._x000B_Preparation of this volume was assisted by an editorial board comprising Bruce J. J. Batt, Robert H. Chabreck, Leigh H. Fredrickson, and Dennis G. Raveling.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-5578-6
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xii-xvii)
  6. Reviewers
    (pp. xviii-xx)
  7. I. Winter in Perspective

    • 1 Waterfowl in Winter: Past, Present, and Future
      (pp. 3-8)
      Milton W. Weller and Bruce D. J. Batt

      Since the inception of modern research on the biology of waterfowl in the mid-1930s, the majority of effort has been on breeding birds (Fredrickson and Drobney 1979, Reinecke 1981). This emphasis has been sustained by the perception of waterfowl biologists that most of the critical events controlling annual recruitment and population size occur during the breeding period. Populations of waterfowl enter and leave this period at the lowest and highest population levels, respectively, in the annual cycle. Courtship, nest site selection, predation, laying, incubation, brood rearing, food habits, and bioenergetics have all been the subjects of a great deal of study...

    • 2 Some Considerations in Modeling the Mallard Life Cycle
      (pp. 9-20)
      Douglas H. Johnson, James D. Nichols, Michael J. Conroy and Lewis M. Cowardin

      Waterfowl have been studied more closely than any other group of wild birds. Despite the attention given to these important and interesting birds, many key features of their biology are not understood. Among mallards (Anasplatyrhynchos), for example, the mechanisms that regulate the North American population remain unknown. Numerous factors have been suggested, however, including hunting, predation, disease, and habitat.

      Investigators have placed more emphasis on aspects of waterfowl biology during the breeding season than during other parts of the year. This disparate attention is partly for convenience: waterfowl behavior, like that of most birds, is especially interesting then, and the sedentary...

  8. II. Reproductive and Social Behavior

    • 3 Pair Bond Duration and Timing of Its Formation in Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis)
      (pp. 23-38)
      Myrfyn Owen, Jeffrey M. Black and Halyna Liber

      It is widely assumed that geese pair for life, although there is very little information on pair stability from wild populations of migratory species. There is ample evidence from captive or semicaptive situations to suggest that separation of partners while both are still alive (i.e., “divorce”) is extremely rare in all species; lifelong monogamy is the accepted norm among geese and swans (Johnsgard 1965, Kear 1970). It is generally assumed that long-term monogamy confers selective advantages in breeding. The presence of an advantage has rarely been demonstrated, and the mechanism by which it might operate is unknown. Indeed, in lesser...

    • 4 Variations in Pair Bond and Agonistic Behaviors in Barnacle Geese on the Wintering Grounds
      (pp. 39-58)
      Jeffrey M. Black and Myrfyn Owen

      The pair bond is the principal mechanism by which individuals of monogamous species optimize resource procurement and maximize “reproductive” fitness (Wickler and Seibt 1983). In particular, geese and swans that are paired to the same mate for long periods produce more offspring than those that frequently change mates (Scott, in press; Owen et al. 1987). Pair bond formation, which occurs mainly during the nonbreeding season, includes displays and aggressive conflict when birds compete for mates (Collias and Jahn 1959, Johnsgard 1965). Most waterfowl biologists interpret the Triumph Ceremony display as instrumental in strengthening or maintaining the bond (Lorenz 1966) and aiding...

    • 5 Social Behavior and Pairing Chronology of Mottled Ducks during Autumn and Winter in Louisiana
      (pp. 59-70)
      Stuart L. Paulus

      As part of a study on mottled duck (Anas fulvigula) behavior in Louisiana, special effort was directed toward a better understanding of the social activities of mottled ducks during autumn and winter. Investigation of these activities is important for several reasons. First, although courtship displays and pairing chronology of captive mottled ducks were studied by Weeks (1969), little is known of these behaviors in wild mottled ducks. Second, Paulus (1983) suggested that pairing chronology might be related to foraging strategies in nonbreeding Anatinae, with those species feeding on poorer quality foods (such as leafy aquatic vegetation [Sugden 1973, Paulus 1982])...

    • 6 Weak Family Associations in Cackling Geese during Winter: Effects of Body Size and Food Resources on Goose Social Organization
      (pp. 71-90)
      James C. Johnson and Dennis G. Raveling

      Social organization of geese has long been a topic of widespread interest (e.g., see Phillips 1916). Mate fidelity, pair bond endurance, and close association of offspring with parents (at least for the first winter of life) are legendary (see review in Owen 1980). However, relatively few studies of wild species have been conducted with individually identifiable animals. Until recently, most investigators tended to view social organization as a relatively fixed character of a species. Now, however, there is abundant evidence of variation in social organization within a species, especially in relation to effects of variation in resources abundance or...

    • 7 Formation of Feeding Flocks during Winter by Dusky and Taverner’s Canada Geese in Oregon
      (pp. 91-102)
      Loree H. Havel and Robert L. Jarvis

      Dusky and Taverner’s Canada geese are two of six subspecies of Canada geese known to winter in western Oregon (Bellrose 1976,141-164). Dusky Canada geese comprised an estimated 95% of the Canada geese wintering in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in 1969-70 (C. F. Zeillemaker, unpubl. rep., Wm. L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon, 1974). During winter 1975-76, nearly 45% of the 41,600 geese wintering along the lower Columbia River and in the Willamette Valley were Taverner’s; by 1983-84, subspecies composition of the 69,000 wintering geese was approximately 15% dusky and 85% Taverner’s Canada geese...

    • 8 Sex Specificity of Behavioral Dominance and Fasting Endurance in Wintering Canvasbacks: Experimental Results
      (pp. 103-122)
      Matthew C. Perry, James D. Nichols, Michael J. Conroy, Holliday H. Obrecht III and Byron K. Williams

      In a number of migratory bird species, females tend to winter farther south than males (Ketterson and Nolan 1976, Gauthreaux 1978, Nichols and Haramis 1980, Myers 1981, Sayler and Afton 1981). Early speculation (Allen 1931, Hochbaum 1944, Degraff et al. 1961) and recent evidence (Nichols and Haramis 1980, Alexander 1983, Haramis et al. 1985) suggest this tendency for canvasbacks (Aythya valisinerid). Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain differential distribution of sexes during the nonbreeding period (Ketterson and Nolan 1976, Gauthreaux 1978, Nichols and Haramis 1980, Myers 1981, Sayler and Afton 1981, Hepp and Hair 1984). Nichols and Haramis (1980)...

    • 9 Workshop Summary: Courtship and Pairing in Winter
      (pp. 123-132)
      Michael G. Anderson, Gary R. Hepp, Frank McKinney and Myrfyn Owen

      This report offers recommendations for future research on courtship and pairing by waterfowl. We wish to acknowledge the helpful input of the 65 people who attended and contributed to our discussion in Galveston. In particular, D. G. Raveling stimulated several useful exchanges. Several of the topics we discussed also were identified by Raveling et al. (1982). We believe this reflects continuing interest in these subjects from both theoretical and practical points of view.

      Most ethologists now believe that animal social behavior evolves as the product of selfish individuals competing in specific ecological settings (Wilson 1975, Brown 1975, Wittenberger 1981, Alcock...

  9. III. Activity Budgets

    • 10 Time–Activity Budgets of Nonbreeding Anatidae: A Review
      (pp. 135-152)
      Stuart L. Paulus

      Time spent in activities by anatids varies among and within species (tables 10.1 and 10.2). Species comparisons often are difficult because data are lacking on the nocturnal activities of many waterfowl. However, these data show that nonbreeding waterfowl spend most of their time loafing and feeding; time allocated to these activities varies greatly among species; time spent resting usually is inversely related to time spent feeding; and time allocated to other activities, including locomoting, preening, social display, and alert and agonistic activities, is similar among species. Nonbreeding anatids average 20-70% of their time feeding; 10- 50% resting; less...

    • 11 Diurnal Behavior Patterns of Waterfowl Wintering on the Columbia River, Oregon and Washington
      (pp. 153-168)
      Bruce C. Thompson, James E. Tabor and Clarence L. Turner

      The study area included the Columbia River from The Dalles Reservoir to Grand Coulee Dam in northeast Washington, except about 230 km from Priest Rapids Dam upstream to the mouth of the Okanogan River (fig. 11.1). The excluded area represented reservoirs under jurisdiction of local utility districts and outside the immediate area of interest to the USACE planning functions that established the scope of the study. The study area ranged from an ocean-influenced, high-humidity belt dominated by coniferous forest to a relatively xeric shrubsteppe at approximately 290 m mean sea level at the upstream end. Detailed descriptions of physiography,...

    • 12 The Need for Nocturnal Activity and Energy Budgets of Waterfowl
      (pp. 169-180)
      Dennis G. Jorde and Ray B. Owen Jr.

      Photoperiod has a marked effect on diel activity patterns of animals. In general, photoperiod is divided into diurnal, crepuscular, and nocturnal periods, and animals are often classified according to the period in which they are most active. Unfortunately, waterfowl cannot be categorized this easily. For diurnal animals or animals for which no nocturnal data are available, researchers often assume that the nocturnal period represents a time of inactivity or minimal activity. Hence, the nocturnal period often has been given little importance and not included in experimental designs of field research. The literature contains many studies of waterfowl behavior conducted during...

    • 13 Workshop Summary: Techniques for Timing Activity of Wintering Waterfowl
      (pp. 181-188)
      Guy A. Baldassarre, Stuart L. Paulus, Alain Tamisier and Rodger D. Titman

      The workshop on timing activity (TA) was unique among those at the Waterfowl in Winter Symposium because it focused on a research method currently used extensively for studying waterfowl ecology during the nonbreeding season. TA studies are important because natural selection should favor individuals optimally allocating time in space (Verner 1965); thus, time budgets relate importantly to many workshop topics (e.g., courtship and pairing, habitat selection, and feeding ecology). However, recent TA investigations of nonbreeding waterfowl (Tamisier 1976, Skead 1977, Roux et al. 1978, Burton and Hudson 1978, Campbell 1978, Frederick and Klaas 1982, Hepp 1982, Paulus 1984a, Quinlan and...

  10. IV. Community and Feeding Ecology

    • 14 Structure of the Winter Duck Community on the Lower Colorado River: Patterns and Processes
      (pp. 191-236)
      Bertin W. Anderson and Robert D. Ohmart

      Measured in a straight line, the lower Colorado River (fig. 14.1) extends about 300 km from Davis Dam (Nevada-Arizona border) to the Mexican boundary; river meanderings increase the length to about 450 km. The total wintering population in this reach area varies from 10,000 to 25,000 ducks (present study; unpubl. data, Calif. Dep. Fish Game) originating from breeding areas located in several western states and Canadian provinces (Bellrose 1980). Constructed modifications on the river's lower reach include two hydroelectric and five irrigationdiversion dams. Thousands of visitors are attracted to the Colorado River annually (Greey and Jaten...

    • 15 Feeding Ecology of Canvasbacks Staging on Pool 7 of the Upper Mississippi River
      (pp. 237-250)
      Carl E. Korschgen, Louis S. George and William L. Green

      Migration in most species of birds is a costly activity that is anticipated by the deposition of fat as an energy reserve before and during migration (Kendeigh et al. 1977). Adequate food resources at strategic locations along the migration route provide energy for migration and prepare birds for arrival on breeding and wintering areas. Migration routes become traditional, to a large extent, in response to food availability as birds interrupt their flight to replenish energy reserves (Bellrose and Crompton 1970, King 1974). The increasing impact of humans on wetlands has increased the need to determine habitat and nutritional requirements during...

    • 16 Workshop Summary: Feeding Ecology
      (pp. 251-254)
      Carl E. Korschgen, Frederic A. Reid and Jerome R. Serie

      Feeding ecology of waterfowl is the study of interactions between the foods available in the environment and the physiological needs and behavior of the birds. Feeding ecology studies typically entail three basic elements: food habits of birds, food availability within the habitat, and the extent of utilization of the food resources. Many researchers use this information to investigate energetic and nutritional implications.

      The quality and quantity of the food selected are influenced by the biological demands, feeding behavior, and morphological adaptations of the bird; the ecology of the prey; and the general nature of the aquatic ecosystem as determined by...

  11. V. Weights, Molts, and Condition

    • 17 Annual Body Weight Change in Ring-Necked Ducks (Aythya collaris)
      (pp. 257-270)
      William L. Hohman, T. Scott Taylor and Milton W. Weller

      There is increased interest in nonbreeding waterfowl and a heightened awareness of the interrelationship between the nonreproductive and reproductive periods of the annual cycle. Few studies to date, however, have addressed waterfowl on an annual basis. Body weights are a useful index for examining changes in nutrient reserve levels in waterfowl (Ankney and Maclnnes 1978, Bailey 1979, Raveling 1979, Wishart 1979, Ankney 1982, Drobney 1982, Hohman 1986b). Together with behavioral and ecological data, body weights may be used to elucidate strategies of survival and reproduction in waterfowl and evaluate patterns of habitat use.

      Ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) are small-bodied diving...

    • 18 Spatial and Temporal Variation in Winter Weights of Mississippi Valley Canada Geese
      (pp. 271-276)
      Dennis D. Thornburg, Thomas C. Tacha, Bridgett L. Estel and James W. Spitzkeit

      Canada geese (Branta canadensis interior) of the Mississippi Valley Population (MVP) winter in southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and northwestern Tennessee (Hanson and Smith 1950). Southern Illinois refuges, including Rend Lake, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (CONWR), Union County Conservation Area (UCCA), and Horseshoe Lake Conservation Areas, provide critical sanctuary and winter habitat for this flock. Raveling (1968) reported winter weight variability of Canada geese at CONWR, and Hanson (1962) studied weights of Canada geese at Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area and CONWR. Our objectives were to investigate factors affecting winter weight variability of MVP Canada geese and to develop hypotheses regarding...

    • 19 Examining Waterfowl Condition: Skewed Ideas on the Normal Procedure
      (pp. 277-286)
      James K. Ringelman

      Temporal changes in the relative magnitude of nutrient reserves, as indexed by physiological condition, can be used as indicators of energy balance. For this reason, condition indices are being used to investigate the cross-seasonal relationship between winter nutrition and spring reproductive performance (J. K. Ringelman, unpubl. data; G. R. Hepp, pers. commun.), as well as differential winter survival (Hepp et al. 1986) and habitat selection by waterfowl (Tietje and Teer 1987). Yet, despite the utility of condition indices, little is known about the variability in condition within waterfowl populations during winter or the biological basis for that variability.

      Tests commonly...

    • 20 Nutrient Reserve Dynamics of Female Mallards during Spring Migration through Central Iowa
      (pp. 287-298)
      Theodore G. LaGrange and James J. Dinsmore

      In response to the hypothesis that factors away from the breeding grounds may affect waterfowl production (Heitmeyer and Fredrickson 1981), there has been a proliferation of wintering-waterfowl studies. Krapu (1981) suggested that lipid reserves acquired by females before arrival on the breeding grounds influenced mallard reproduction, but it was not known when and where female mallards acquired these lipids.

      Mallards often undergo weight loss on the wintering grounds (Whyte and Bolen 1984a, Heitmeyer 1985) because of a reduction in lipid reserves, possibly resulting from periods of negative energy balance (Jorde 1981, Heitmeyer 1985). Yet, upon arrival at the breeding grounds,...

    • 21 Workshop Summary: Nutrition, Condition, and Ecophysiology
      (pp. 299-304)
      Kenneth J. Reinecke, C. Davison Ankney, Gary L. Krapu, Ray B. Owen Jr., Harold H. Prince and Dennis G. Raveling

      Attendance at the evening discussion session and papers appearing in this volume illustrate the high level of current interest in research on ecophysiology (also see Anderson and Batt 1983). Recent studies in this area have made substantial contributions both to the management (e.g., Krapu 1979) and basic biology (e.g., Raveling 1979) of waterfowl. In this limited review, we summarize selected background data, research opportunities, and problems to avoid.

      Early efforts to solve waterfowl conservation problems via propagation stimulated research on nutrient requirements (e.g., Holm and Scott 1954). Interest subsequently declined during the 1960s, but it recovered in the 1970s when...

  12. VI. Habitat Resources and Habitat Selection

    • 22 Waterfowl Use of Forested Wetlands of the Southern United States: An Overview
      (pp. 307-324)
      Leigh H. Fredrickson and Mickey E. Heitmeyer

      Waterfowl communities of breeding areas, such as those of the glacial prairie marshes of southern Canada and the north-central United States, are well known (Bellrose 1979) compared with our understanding of waterfowl use of wetlands in winter (Fredrickson and Drobney 1979). Variations in nesting chronology (Bellrose 1980), body sizes (Bellrose 1980), foraging modes (Siegfried 1976), social systems (McKinney 1973), and resource requirements on breeding areas (Swanson et al. 1979) allow exploitation of the same habitats by high densities of several species. Wetland complexes composed of ephemeral, temporary, semipermanent, and permanent waters in juxtaposition to good upland nesting cover provide...

    • 23 Potential Effects of Changing Water Conditions on Mallards Wintering in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
      (pp. 325-338)
      Kenneth J. Reinecke, Robert C. Barkley and Charles K. Baxter

      The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) or Delta is an area with substantial numbers of wintering waterfowl and drastic losses of forested wetlands, yet the research data that are essential for evaluating effects of habitat changes are limited. The MAV is best known for its mallard concentrations; Bellrose (1976) described the Delta as the heart of the ancestral mallard wintering ground, with an average winter population of 1.5 million birds. Harvest statistics confirm the abundance of waterfowl in the MAV: Arkansas consistently leads the nation in total mallard bag (Carney et al. 1983).

      Forested wetlands in the MAV...

    • 24 Duck Food Production in Openings in Forested Wetlands
      (pp. 339-352)
      Andrew J. Harrison Jr. and Robert H. Chabreck

      Cypress-tupelo wetlands of the Atchafalaya-Lafourche and Blind River- Maurepas areas were excellent wintering habitat for waterfowl in Louisiana before the massive clearcuts of the 1800s and early 1900s (St. Amant 1959). Yancey (1970) noted that cypress-tupelo (Taxodium-Nyssa) brakes and sloughs sustained heavy utilization by wood ducks (Aixsponsa). Today, open water in this region has been reduced by encroachment of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), and production of moist-soil food plants has been reduced because of shading caused by regeneration and second growth of clearcut forests (St. Amant 1959, Conner and Day 1976). Open water and an adequate food supply are important...

    • 25 Winter Body Condition of Northern Shovelers on Freshwater and Saline Habitats
      (pp. 353-376)
      William D. Tietje and James G. Teer

      Winter habitat quality, especially food availability, influences the well-being of waterfowl. It affects pairing chronology of wintering gadwalls (Anas strepera) (Paulus 1983) and mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) (Brodsky and Weatherhead 1985) and is probably an important determinant of physiological condition. Condition has been implicated as a proximate factor affecting winter survival of green-winged teal (Anas crecca carolinensis) (Bennett and Bolen 1978) and black ducks (Anas rubripes) (Reinecke and Stone 1982) and productivity in common eiders (Somateria mollissima dresseri) (Korschgen 1977) and lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) (Ankney and Maclnnes 1978). Moreover, productivity of mallards has been related to winter habitat...

    • 26 Distribution and Numbers of American Black Ducks along the Maine Coast during the Severe Winter of 1980–1981
      (pp. 377-390)
      Jerry R. Longcore and James P. Gibbs

      Prolonged low temperatures and reduced food availability during winter have caused periodic severe waterfowl losses in North America (Gromme 1936, Trautmanetal. 1939, Hagar 1950, Hunt and Cowan 1963, Kirby and Ferrigno 1980) and in Europe (Boyd 1964, Nilsson 1984). Selective pressures on waterfowl in winter should favor adaptations for conserving energy and for obtaining food efficiently. The physiological and morphological mechanisms used for coping with cold stress are documented, but behavioral mechanisms have not been well studied (Walsberg 1983, 136). Behavioral adjustments in winter encompass habitat selection and changes in behavior within habitats (Walsberg 1983, 136). These changes in social...

    • 27 Cover Type Relationships and Black Duck Winter Habitat
      (pp. 391-398)
      James C. Lewis and Martin Nelson

      Black duck populations have been declining for several decades (Feierabend 1984). There is a need to understand black duck habitat requirements so that we can better interpret how habitat changes may be influencing duck numbers. No one knows whether existing habitat is fully utilized. High-quality habitat may not be utilized in proportion to its suitability because there may be a surplus of such habitat.

      Based on the food habits and habitat use information for the Atlantic coast within the winter range of black ducks, Lewis and Garrison (1984) theorized that key physical habitat components include shallow (≤1 m) open water,...

    • 28 Workshop Summary: Habitat Selection
      (pp. 399-402)
      Richard M. Kaminski, Alan D. Afton, Bertin W. Anderson, Dennis G. Jorde and Jerry R. Longcore

      The objectives of the Habitat Selection Workshop were to discuss habitat selection by waterfowl during the nonbreeding period and to summarize needs for future research. The authors served as discussion panelists or participated in preparation of this summary of the discussion of 42 workshop participants representing federal, state, provincial, and private institutions.

      Habitat is the place where an animal or plant normally lives (Ricklefs 1979, 871). Southwood (1977) entitled a paper “Habitat, the templet for ecological strategies.” Implicit in this phrase is the notion that habitat imposes selective regimes upon organisms, causing them to survive and reproduce differentially. In response...

  13. VII. New Habitats and Habitat Management

    • 29 The Role of Parks in the Range Expansion of the Mallard in the Northeast
      (pp. 405-412)
      H W Heusmann

      The mallard has become an important game bird in the northeastern states, surpassing the black duck in some inland areas. Unlike the black duck, which winters along the coast, wintering mallards are largely restricted to freshwater or brackish sites, often in urbanized areas. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role artificial feeding plays in the maintenance of wintering mallard populations in the Northeast.

      Special thanks are extended to F. Ferrigno and S. S. Sanford for comments on urban waterfowl and to C. L. Allin, G. Chasko, P. O. Corr, F. E. Hartman, L. J. Hindman, H. C....

    • 30 Use of Catfish Ponds by Waterfowl Wintering in Mississippi
      (pp. 413-418)
      Mark W. Christopher, Edward P. Hill and David E. Steffen

      Bottomland hardwood forests historically provided some of the essential habitat for wintering waterfowl, particularly mallards, in the lower Mississippi alluvial plain. There were 4.8 million hectares of bottomland hardwood forests in 1937. Conversion of bottomland hardwood area into croplands was accelerated as soybean and grain crops became more profitable than hardwood products (MacDonald et al. 1979). By 1978, the bottomland hardwood forests in this region had been reduced to 2.1 million hectares (MacDonald et al. 1979). In contrast to the decline of bottomland hardwood wetlands in the Delta region of Mississippi, impoundments for catfish, bait, and crawfish(Procambarus clarki)production were...

    • 31 Waterfowl Habitat Created by Floodwater-Retarding Structures in the Southern United States
      (pp. 419-426)
      Gary Bates, Gary L. Valentine and Frank H. Sprague

      The construction of floodwater-retarding structures (FWRS) in the South since the early 1950s has created 133,261 ha (329,155 acres) of surface water, which provides waterfowl habitat of varying quality, primarily in the Mississippi and Central flyways. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service (SCS) assists in the construction of FWRS under the authority of the 1944 Flood Control Act, the 1954 Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, and the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 (Nord 1963, Lea and Mattson 1974).

      FWRS are impoundments designed with flood control as a primary purpose. These impoundments have many names, including flood-detention...

    • 32 Experimental Plantings for Management of Crayfish and Waterfowl
      (pp. 427-440)
      James R. Nassar, Robert H. Chabreck and David C. Hayden

      Impoundments for the commercial production of red swamp (Procambarus clarkii) and white river crayfish (P.acutus acutus), in Louisiana increased from 24 ha in 1949 (Lovell 1968) to 43,000 ha in 1984 (R. P. Romaire, pers. commun.). Annual crayfish harvest varies between 22 million and 32 million kg, with a wholesale value of $25-40 million (Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service 1983). Impoundment construction for crayfish is projected to increase as management techniques improve and farmers accept crayfish as a viable alternative to traditional crops.

      Current crayfish management practices prescribe planting domestic rice (Oryza saliva) or small grains such as Japanese...

    • 33 Production, Management, and Waterfowl Use of Sea Purslane, Gulf Coast Muskgrass, and Widgeongrass in Brackish Impoundments
      (pp. 441-458)
      Peter K. Swiderek, A. Sydney Johnson, Philip E. Hale and Robert L. Joyner

      Brackish impoundments are important habitat for wintering waterfowl in coastal areas of the southeastern United States, but there are few plant species having waterfowl food value that are suitable for culture in such impoundments, especially where salinities exceed 10 ppt. Most such impoundments are managed by flooding during the growing season to produce widgeongrass, which has long been known as an important food plant for ducks (McAtee 1939,16; Martin and Uhler 1939, 9). Though ecological requirements and management strategies for widgeongrass are well documented (McAtee 1939, Joanen and Glasgow 1965, Mayer and Low 1970, Richardson 1980), management can be...

    • 34 Workshop Summary: Habitat Management in Winter
      (pp. 459-466)
      Roger L. Pederson, Robert H. Chabreck, Daniel P. Connelly, Leigh H. Fredrickson and Henry R. Murkin

      This report summarizes the current status of, and future needs for, research and management of habitat used by waterfowl during their nonnesting period. We are grateful for the interest and contributions of all participants who attended our discussion session. In addition, we would like to thank John Kadlec, Richard Kaminski, Loren Smith, and the editorial board for providing helpful comments and suggestions for improving this manuscript.

      Waterfowl habitat management during the nonnesting period should provide food, cover, space, and water requirements of waterfowl. Our understanding of where and when to manage habitat will be predicated on our knowledge of factors...

  14. VIII. Harvest, Distribution, and Population Status

    • 35 Recoveries of North American Waterfowl in the Neotropics
      (pp. 469-482)
      Jorge E. Botero and Donald H. Rusch

      More than 30 species of North American waterfowl winter in the Neotropics, with distributions that extend south of the United States into Mexico, Central America, South America, or the Caribbean islands. Leopold (1959) suggested that 9-17% of the total North American waterfowl population crosses the U.S.-Mexico border during migration. Saundersand Saunders(1981) reported sizable numbers of northern shoveler (Anas clypeata), gad wall (A. strepera), northern pintail (A.acuta), green-winged teal (A. crecca), and redheads (Aythya americand) wintering in Mexico. Bellrose (1980) suggested that the majority of black brant (Branta bernicla), blue-winted teal (Anas discors), and cinnamon teal (A....

    • 36 Mobility and Site Fidelity of Green-Winged Teal Wintering on the Southern High Plains of Texas
      (pp. 483-494)
      Guy A. Baldassarre, Eileen E. Quinlan and Eric G. Bolen

      The approximately 20,000 playa lakes on the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle (Guthery and Bryant 1982) constitute major wintering habitat for greenwinged teal (Anas crecca carolinensis) in the Central Flyway (Bellrose 1980). Green-winged teal rank second only to mallards (A. platyrhynchos) in numbers harvested during recent years (Carney et al. 1983), yet little information exists regarding their ecology during the nonbreeding season.

      However, research interest in nonbreeding waterfowl recently has accelerated (see Anderson and Batt 1983), in part because conditions during winter may control populations of some avian species (Fretwell 1972) and because reproductive performance of some waterfowl...

    • 37 History and Status of Midcontinent Snow Geese on Their Gulf Coast Winter Range
      (pp. 495-516)
      Hugh A. Bateman, Ted Joanen and Charles D. Stutzenbaker

      The extensive coastal marshes and agricultural lands that border the northern Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana and Texas are well recognized for their importance to wintering waterfowl. Lesser snow geese (Chen c. caerulescens) historically have been a colorful and important part of waterfowl traditions in this region (Lynch 1967,1975). Until the mid-1960s, populations of these arctic-nesting geese wintered exclusively along the Gulf Coast. However, substantial numbers now remain as far north as Iowa in December, and some overwinter in midwestern states. Snow geese provide important recreational and economic opportunities to thousands of waterfowl enthusiasts in Canada and in states...

    • 38 Recent Changes in Wintering Populations of Canada Geese in Western Oregon and Southwestern Washington
      (pp. 517-528)
      Robert L. Jarvis and John E. Cornely

      The dusky Canada goose (Branta canadensis occidentalishas been a major management priority in the Pacific Flyway for two decades because of its restricted distribution and small population (Timm et al. 1979). Management efforts included establishment of four national wildlife refuges (NWR) in western Oregon and southwestern Washington and extensive monitoring of the population on both the breeding and wintering grounds. Research has been continually supported as part of the overall management scheme (Chapman et al. 1969; Bromley 1976,1984; Clark and Jarvis 1978; Simpson and Jarvis 1979; Comely et al. 1985; Havel and Jarvis 1987). As a result of...

    • 39 Use of the Missouri River in South Dakota by Canada Geese in Fall and Winter, 1953–1984
      (pp. 529-540)
      S. G. Simpson

      As early as 1804, Lewis and Clark reported use of the Missouri River in South Dakota by geese during fall (Thwaites 1969). They characterized the river as composed of braided channels with numerous sandbars and wooded islands. Canada goose hunting was well established along the southern reaches of the Missouri River by 1940 (Parker 1960).

      Construction began on Fort Randall Dam, the first of four mainstem dams on the river, in 1946 (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1979a). Fort Randall Dam was closed in 1952 and was followed by Gavin's Point (1955), Oahe (1958), and Big Bend (1963)...

    • 40 Estimating Populations of Ducks Wintering in Southeast Alaska
      (pp. 541-552)
      Bruce Conant, James G. King, John L. Trapp and John I. Hodges

      Waterfowl are common in marine habitats along the Pacific coast of Alaska in winter, but there are no reliable population figures. No standard method has been available for measuring this resource in this geographically complex area influenced by variable coastal weather systems. Sporadically over the past 30 years, biologists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS, Alaska) have been trying to develop a suitable technique to address this knowledge gap. Our objective is to develop a replicable survey method for wintering waterfowl that would yield valid population estimates with good confidence limits.

      An aerial survey of a sample...

    • 41 Dabbling Duck Harvest Dynamics in the Central Valley of California—Implications for Recruitment
      (pp. 553-570)
      Michael R. Miller, John Beam and Daniel P. Connelly

      Recent proposals to extend California duck hunting seasons into February (Bartonek 1983) and implementation of stabilized duck-hunting regulations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) nationwide have led to a need for age, sex, and body weight data of harvested ducks to evaluate the potential impact of regulation changes on population status and recruitment potentials. Present estimates of age and sex ratios of harvested ducks are based on national wing collections from the USFWS's Cooperative Waterfowl Parts Collection Survey (Martin and Carney 1977, Carney et al. 1982) and are issued as annual state summaries. More detailed temporal...

    • 42 Workshop Summary: Species and Population Status and Distribution
      (pp. 571-574)
      James D. Nichols, Dirk V. Derksen, Robert L. Jarvis and John T. Ratti

      Estimation of the size of a free-ranging avian population is a difficult task, and a great deal of effort has been devoted to the development of methodologies to be used for this purpose (e.g., see Ralph and Scott 1981, Seber 1982). Historically, there have been numerous efforts to estimate the size of various wintering waterfowl populations. The success of these efforts has varied substantially, depending on such factors as methods used, geographic range of the population of interest, habitat characteristics of surveyed areas, and behavioral characteristics of the species. It probably is unrealistic to try to develop a general winter...

    • 43 Workshop Summary: Hunting Vulnerability and Mortality
      (pp. 575-580)
      Frank Montalbano III, Douglas H. Johnson, Michael R. Miller and Donald H. Rusch

      During the past decade, Anderson and Burnham (1976) challenged traditional theory regarding the relationships between hunting mortality and annual survival rates for North American mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). They argued that the considerable evidence suggesting relationships between harvest rates and annual mortality rates for a number of waterfowl species was based on inappropriate correlations of statistically dependent data. Anderson and Burnham (1976) defined and tested two distinct hypotheses and reexamined the effect of harvest on survival rate using independent measurements. They subsequently rejected the hypothesis that hunting is a completely additive form of mortality in the populations studied and concluded that...

  15. IX. Decimating Influences:: Habitat Loss, Toxins, and Disease

    • 44 Wintering Waterfowl Habitat in Texas: Shrinking and Contaminated
      (pp. 583-596)
      Brian W. Cain

      The bays and marshes along the Texas coast provide wintering habitat for millions of migratory waterfowl (table 44.1). During the 1960s, these areas suffered increasing encroachment from agriculture, industry, and urbanization. The result of this encroachment has been loss of habitat through draining or filling and contamination by pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other industrial pollutants. Data have been collected by various agencies from sediment, water, and birds to determine whether these contaminants may pose a chronic and sublethal hazard to wintering waterfowl along the Texas coast. The purpose of this review is to identify the nature of...

    • 45 Ingestion of Shotshell Pellets by Waterfowl Wintering in Texas
      (pp. 597-608)
      Daniel W. Moulton, Carl D. Frentress, Charles D. Stutzenbaker, David S. Lobpries and William C. Brownlee

      In 1972, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) began a study to determine lead concentrations in the wing bones of waterfowl throughout the United States (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1976). The highest lead levels observed during the study were in mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. An earlier study by Bellrose (1959) indicated that ducks from Texas had the highest incidence of ingested lead shot among those gizzards collected in the Central Flyway.

      Results from these studies were not surprising because the two elements that result in the ingestion of shot by waterfowl—large...

    • 46 Workshop Summary: Toxins, Disease, and Lead Poisoning
      (pp. 609-612)
      Brian W. Cain and J. Scott Feierabend

      Because of the location of the Waterfowl in Winter Symposium and the importance of the area for waterfowl, considerable emphasis was focused on problems in the Gulf of Mexico. However, certain of the problems have nationwide or worldwide significance.

      Historically, wintering waterfowl habitat along the Gulf Coast has not been plagued with die-offs such as those recorded in upland playas and western lakes. The workshop focused on contamination of wintering habitat—especially the Gulf Coast—by industrial sources, agricultural runoff, lead-shot deposition, and discharges from hazardous waste sites and petroleum production. Southern coastal marshes now receive discharges that contain phenolic...

    • 47 Workshop Summary: Habitat Loss and Its Effect on Waterfowl
      (pp. 613-618)
      Robert E. Stewart Jr., Gary L. Krapu, Bruce Conant, H. Franklin Percival and David L. Hall

      Historically, waterfowl research has focused principally on breeding biology and habitat. In part, this emphasis stemmed from the recognized importance of recruitment and factors related to the size of the fall flight. It has long been assumed that wintering habitat does not have a long-term limiting effect on waterfowl populations. Yet the rates of wintering habitat loss and modification have been staggering in the last 25 years, and these changes certainly are affecting the distribution and abundance of wintering waterfowl. Recent evidence suggests that the general health of waterfowl and their annual survival rates are influenced by habitat conditions on...

  16. Index
    (pp. 621-624)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 625-625)