Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Strategy

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Upper Mississippi River and
Great Lakes Region Joint Venture
Waterfowl Habitat
Conservation
Strategy
December 2007
i
Waterfowl Strategy Committee Members:
John Coluccy, Ducks Unlimited, Co-chair
Greg Soulliere, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Co-chair
Pat Brown, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Mike Eichholz, Southern Illinois University
Bob Gates, Ohio State University
Ron Gatti, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Dave Luukkonen, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Charlotte Roy, Southern Illinois University and Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources
Cover: Canvasback photo by Eugene Hester.
i
Table of Contents
Plan Summary................................................................................................................... 2
Acknowledgements.......................................................................................................... 2
Background and Context ................................................................................................. 3
Population and Habitat Trends ..................................................................................... 10
Biological Foundation..................................................................................................... 15
Planning Framework .................................................................................................. 16
Limiting Factors.......................................................................................................... 17
Population Status and Goals ...................................................................................... 20
Breeding Goals ......................................................................................................... 20
Migration and Wintering Goals................................................................................ 23
Focal Species ............................................................................................................ 26
Biological Models ........................................................................................................ 27
Great Lakes Mallard Models .................................................................................... 29
Habitat Goal and Objectives.......................................................................................... 30
Calculated Non-breeding Objectives......................................................................... 31
Maintenance and Protection ...................................................................................... 34
Restoration and Enhancement .................................................................................. 37
Monitoring and Research............................................................................................... 40
Monitoring Needs and Responsibilities..................................................................... 43
Monitoring Objectives .............................................................................................. 45
Research Needs............................................................................................................ 45
Research Objectives.............................................................................................. 46
Measuring Performance................................................................................................. 47
Net Change in Resources............................................................................................ 48
Vital Rates as a Measure ............................................................................................ 48
Adaptive Management.................................................................................................... 49
NSST Continental Integration................................................................................... 50
Timetable and Coordination.......................................................................................... 51
Literature Cited .............................................................................................................. 51
Appendix A. Breeding Waterfowl Species Accounts .................................................. 59
Wood Duck .................................................................................................................. 60
American Black Duck................................................................................................. 64
Mallard......................................................................................................................... 68
Blue-winged Teal......................................................................................................... 72
Appendix B. Migration and Wintering Waterfowl Guild Accounts ......................... 76
Appendix C. Common and Scientific Names of Waterfowl....................................... 96
Appendix D. Mid-winter Inventory Summary............................................................ 97
Appendix E. Potential Threats Common to Waterfowl ........................................... 104
Appendix F. Interpolating Population Estimates ..................................................... 105
Appendix G. Estimated Duration of Stay (use days) for Waterfowl....................... 116
Recommended citation: Soulliere, G. J., B. A. Potter, J. M. Coluccy, R. C. Gatti., C. L. Roy, D. R.
Luukkonen, P. W. Brown, and M. W. Eichholz. 2007. Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region
Joint Venture Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Strategy. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort Snelling,
Minnesota, USA.
ii
iii
Plan Summary
Wildlife habitat conservation is typically implemented at local scales, but avian
ecologists have recognized the need to integrate continental migratory bird priorities into
local habitat recommendations. In this strategy we attempt to “step-down” continental
waterfowl conservation priorities to the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint
Venture (JV) region and to smaller scales within the region. We estimated what, where,
when, and how much habitat is needed to sustain or increase populations of waterfowl
species to target levels. Regional objectives also are “rolled up” in a manner that
addresses the JV’s contribution to continental waterfowl conservation. The strategy goal
is to “establish efficient habitat conservation to maintain or increase carrying capacity
for populations of priority waterfowl species consistent with continental and JV
regional goals.”
Population estimates for many waterfowl species are uncertain and currently
being refined. Therefore, population estimates and objectives used in this strategy will be
periodically adjusted. Nonetheless, science-based recommendations were developed to
help managers efficiently and effectively increase landscape carrying capacity through
waterfowl habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement. In addition, this document
was developed to complement JV habitat conservation strategies for waterbirds,
shorebirds, and landbirds; habitat objectives for the four groups were integrated in an allbird JV implementation plan.
In order to scientifically link population and habitat objectives for this diverse
bird group, several “JV focal species” were selected for waterfowl breeding habitat
planning and monitoring. Each JV focal species represents a primary cover type and
waterfowl guild, an assemblage of species that share similar life requisites. We assumed
habitat actions designed for JV focal species would accommodate populations of other
breeding waterfowl dependent on designated cover types. Likewise, foraging guilds that
correspond to different cover types were selected for habitat planning during the nonbreeding period. Migration and wintering habitat objectives for the JV region were
developed by employing an energy-based carrying capacity model using continental
estimates of spring population size, harvest and winter distribution. A primary
assumption of this strategy is that habitat carrying capacity established to accommodate
spring migrating and winter populations also will suffice during fall migration.
Regional waterfowl population and habitat trends, in concert with population
estimates and an assessment of habitat factors limiting populations, provide a biological
planning foundation for conservation decision making. Planning steps included
characterizing and assessing the landscape for JV focal species, modeling population
response, identifying conservation opportunities, and developing an initial landscape
design with capacity expected to sustain current waterfowl populations and eliminate
population deficits. Much of the technical information, including habitat models and
decision support maps, appears in breeding focal species and non-breeding guild accounts
(Appendix A and B). Sections regarding monitoring and research needs, measuring
performance, adaptive management, and program coordination also are provided.
1
The JV planning approach emphasizes populations and habitats, but we recognize
the importance of the human element (i.e., people as the third sphere of wildlife
management) and conservation partners were integral in establishing objectives during
the plan development process. By stating explicit population and habitat objectives in the
strategy we hope to move conservation emphasis beyond local scales, and to orient
results from habitat area “outputs” to bird population-change and stakeholder-satisfaction
“outcomes.” The process used for developing habitat objectives will improve decision
making over the long-term by moving toward an adaptive system. Objectives in this
strategy are a starting point destined for refinement.
Our intent in this JV Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Strategy is to establish
explicit regional goals for waterfowl habitat conservation and identify and use available
survey data and advancing technological tools to efficiently achieve those goals. Lack of
population and ecological information for many species was a significant planning
challenge. However, we establish a scientific process for habitat objective-setting and
identify assumptions and research needs to improve subsequent iterations of the strategy.
Although this plan was written with a 15-year time horizon, it is a “living document” that
will be refined as knowledge of regional waterfowl conservation improves and new
spatial data becomes available.
Acknowledgements: Paul Padding provided county-level waterfowl harvest data and
Jerry Serie, Ken Gamble, Kammie Kruse, and Bob Trost (all U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service) provided Mid-winter Inventory (MWI) data for the Atlantic, Mississippi,
Central, and Pacific Flyways, respectively. Dave Fronczak (USFWS) compiled and
assisted with analysis of MWI data. Spring aerial waterfowl survey data were provided
by Jeff Lawrence and Steve Cordts (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources), Dave
Luukkonen (Michigan Department of Natural Resources), and Ron Gatti (Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources). Extensive and valuable review comments on early
drafts of the strategy were provided by Josh Stafford (Illinois Natural History Survey);
David Brakhage (Ducks Unlimited); Guy Zenner (Iowa Department of Natural
Resources); Frank Nelson, David Graber, Andy Raedeke, Norb Giessman, and Mike
Roell (all Missouri Department of Conservation); Bill Vander Zouwen (Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources); Jeff Lawrence (Minnesota Department of Natural
Resources); John Curnutt (U.S. Forest Service); Norm Seymour (St. Francis Xavier
University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia); Suzanne Cardinal (Ohio Bird Conservation
Initiative); Steve Barry (Ohio Department of Natural Resources); Kevin Kenow (U.S.
Geological Survey); and Jorge Coppen, Jeff Keifer, Barb Pardo, and Paul Richert (all
USFWS).
2
Background and Context
The Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture (JV) is one of
many regional bird-habitat partnerships established to achieve goals set forth in the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP; USFWS 1998). These self-directed
partnerships include agencies, organizations, corporations, tribes, and individuals that
have formally accepted the responsibility of implementing national or international bird
conservation plans within a specific geographic area or for a specific taxonomic group.
There are currently three species JVs and >20 regional habitat JVs that cover North
America.
The JV region is located in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, and encompasses
all or portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin (Figure 1). The area contains unique and important
waterfowl habitats, including the nation’s only inland coastal area – the Great Lakes and
shorelines. The JV region also is defined by floodplains and interior wetlands associated
with four of the country’s major river systems: the lower Missouri, upper and central
Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio rivers. On the eastern edge of the JV region, where the St.
Clair River empties into Lake St. Clair, lays an expansive wetland complex shared by
Canada and the United States. Nine primary islands and associated shallow bays and
marshes form the St. Clair Flats, the only major river delta in the Great Lakes and the
world’s largest freshwater delta.
Landscape cover types vary from heavily forested in the north and east to
predominantly agriculture in the west and south. Thousands of glacial lakes, herbaceous
and forested wetlands, and beaver ponds in the upper portion of the JV region transition
into an environment with few natural basins and primarily river floodplain wetlands in
the south. Wetland conditions (i.e., concentrations of dissolved nutrients and oxygen)
change from generally oligotrophic in the far north to mesotrophic and eutrophic in the
central and southern reaches of the region. Lower breeding and staging waterfowl
concentrations are typical of the northern third of the JV region, whereas the central
prairie-hardwood transition zone can have relatively high waterfowl densities during the
breeding and non-breeding seasons. Wetlands in the southern portion of the region have
few breeding ducks, but waterfowl concentrations during migration and wintering periods
can be very high.
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI 2000) has identified
landscape differences important for bird-conservation planning by sub-dividing the
continent into Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). These relatively homogenous units
are characterized by similar bird communities, habitats, and resource management issues.
The JV region is largely covered by BCR 22 (Eastern Tallgrass Prairie), 23 (Prairie
Hardwood Transition), and the U.S. portion of 12 (35%, Boreal Hardwood Transition).
Portions of BCR 24 (19%, Central Hardwoods), 13 (11%, Lower Great Lakes / St.
Lawrence Plain), and 28 (7%, Appalachian Mountains) also fall within the JV boundary
(Figure 1).
3
Figure 1. Boundaries of the Upper
Mississippi River and Great Lakes
Joint Venture region (blue line)
and associated Bird Conservation
Regions.
The JV region
contains recognized areas of
continental significance in
the North American
Waterfowl Management Plan
(NAWMP 2004), particularly
for migrating ducks, geese,
and Tundra Swans (see
Appendix C for scientific
names). These areas include
the lower Great Lakes and
connecting waters (Saginaw
Bay, Lake Erie, and Lake St.
Clair) and the Illinois and central Mississippi Rivers. A high proportion of ducks
breeding in central Canada, and most of the continental Tundra Swan population, stage in
the JV region as they move between breeding and wintering areas (Bellrose 1980). One
of the most heavily used duck migration pathways in North America covers the western
third of the JV region. A corridor from the mid-continent Prairie and Parkland, and
crossing Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri accommodates >10 million ducks during
a migration cycle (Bellrose 1980).
On the east side of the JV region, nearly every species of North American
waterfowl can be found at some time during the year. Waterfowl make extensive use of
Great Lakes coastal waters and wetlands, with estimates of migrating birds historically
reaching three million (Great Lakes Basin Commission 1975). The highest
concentrations during migration have occurred on Lake St. Clair, southwestern Lake Erie,
and the Detroit River (Dennis and Chandler 1974, Prince et al. 1992). Coastal wetlands
and inland marshes of Ohio have supported an estimated 500,000 waterfowl during fall
migration (Bookhout et al. 1989).
At least 25 duck species, three swan and one brant species, two races of Snow
Geese, plus Ross’s Geese, Cackling Geese, and six populations of Canada Geese depend
on the JV region to varying degrees (Table 1). Common Eider, Greater Snow Geese, and
Atlantic Brant rarely occur in large numbers within the JV boundary, but remaining
species are considered common in most years. From a continental perspective, BCRs 12,
13, 22, and 23 have high relative importance for waterfowl conservation, especially for
migrating birds (Table 1). Two species with especially small continental populations but
high public interest, the American Black Duck and Canvasback, use each of the six BCRs
in the JV region.
4
Table 1. Continental importance of Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) associated with the Upper
Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region in providing breeding (B) and non-breeding (N)
waterfowl habitat, largely from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP 2004)a.
Bird Conservation Regionb
Species (population)
12
13
22
23
24
28
Greater Snow Goose
N
Lesser Snow Goose (Mid-continent)
N
Ross’s Goose
n
Atlantic Brant
n
Cackling Goose (Tallgrass Prairie)
N
N
n
n
N
N
Canada Goose (Atlantic)
N
Canada Goose (Southern James Bay)
N
n
N
N
N
n
Canada Goose (Mississippi Valley)
N
N
N
Canada Goose (Eastern Prairie)
n
N
Canada Goose (Western Prairie/Great Plains)
N
Canada Goose (Mississippi Flyway Giant)
B, N
N
B, N
B, N
B, N
B, N
B, N
b, N
n
Mute Swan (Feral)
B, N
Trumpeter Swan (Interior)
B
n
B, N
N
N
Tundra Swan (Eastern)
N
Wood Duck
b
b
B, N
B, n
B, n
b, n
Gadwall
n
b, n
b, n
n
n
American Wigeon
b, n
b
n
n
n
American Black Duck
B, n
b, N
N
b, N
N
N
Mallard
b, n
b, n
b, N
B, N
N
n
Blue-winged Teal
b
b
b, N
B, N
n
Northern Shoveler
n
b, n
n
Northern Pintail
n
N
n
Green-winged Teal
b
b, n
n
b, n
Canvasback
n
b, N
N
n
n
N
Redhead
n
b, n
n
b, N
Ring-necked Duck
B, N
b, n
N
b, N
n
Greater Scaup
N
N
n
N
n
Lesser Scaup
b, N
N
N
n
N
Common Eider
n
Surf Scoter
N
N
White-winged Scoter
N
N
Black Scoter
N
N
Long-tailed Duck
n
n
N
Bufflehead
b, N
b, n
n
n
n
n
Common Goldeneye
B, N
b, N
N
N
N
n
Hooded Merganser
B
N
N
N
B
Common Merganser
b
N
N
Red-breasted Merganser
b, N
Ruddy Duck
B, n
N
N
B, N
n
a
Geographic importance of a BCR to a species was determined using relative abundance and distribution
estimates based on continental breeding and harvest survey data and expert opinion regarding threats to
habitat and distribution of un-surveyed / non-hunted populations (NAWMP 2004:63-83). Only portions of
BCR 12 (35%), 24 (19%), 13 (11%), and 28 (7%) occur in the JV region and ratings for some species may
not accurately reflect importance for the JV portion of these BCRs.
b
Seasonal occurrence and relative abundance categories for BCR importance: B/b represent breeding
season and N/n represent non-breeding season including migration and or wintering. B, N = high
5
concentrations, region has “high” importance to the species relative to other regions. B, N = common or
locally abundant, region has “moderate” or “moderately high” importance to species. b, n = uncommon to
fairly common, region is within species range but species occurs in low abundance relative to other
regions, and region considered to be “low” or “moderately low” importance to species. Blank = species
does not occur in region or has only unpredictable, irregular occurrence.
Principal migrant diving ducks include Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser and Greater
Scaup, and Ring-necked Duck, whereas primary migrant dabbling ducks include Mallard,
Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, and American Wigeon, and the Wood Duck – a
perching duck species. All of these ducks have relatively wide distribution in the region
during migration. Sea ducks, including Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye and three
species of mergansers are common on the Great Lakes and connecting waters. Longtailed Duck and the scoters also are found in coastal areas of the JV region. In addition,
western Lake Erie historically accounted for one of the largest fall and winter
concentration areas for American Black Duck in the interior of North America (Bellrose
1980), although numbers have significantly declined in recent years.
Of the Interior Canada geese occurring in the region (Table 1), use by the Eastern
Prairie, Mississippi Valley, and Southern James Bay Populations is extensive during
migration and wintering. Spring estimates for these three populations have totaled about
one million in recent years (USFWS 2007a). Moreover, most of the 1.6 million Giant
Canada Geese found in the Mississippi Flyway during spring surveys occur in the JV
region, and they continue to use the region during non-breeding periods in most years.
Migrating Lesser Snow Geese stage in high concentrations on the west side of the region,
especially along the Missouri River corridor. Eastern population Tundra Swans nest in
the Arctic and spend about one half of their life cycle in migration between breeding and
wintering areas. For birds moving through the JV region, fully one-third of their
migration staging occurs in the lower Great Lakes region (Petrie and Wilcox 2003).
Unfortunately, precise information about the number of migration stopover locations and
the duration of stay is currently unavailable for other waterfowl species using the region.
The spring migration period for waterfowl in key areas of the lower Great Lakes
occurs from late February to early May, but concentrations of most species peak during
March and early April (Prince et al. 1992, Anderson et al. 2002, Olson 2003). Fall
migration extends over a three-to-four month period with different species peaking in
abundance at various times. Migrant Blue-winged Teal are the first to concentrate in
Great Lakes coastal marshes around late August (Campbell 1968, Kelley 1978, Anderson
et al. 2002) and subsequently move south from the region by late September. They are
followed by movements of Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, and in
some years early arriving Scaup (Soulliere and Luukkonen 2001). By early to mid
October, Mallard, American Black Duck, and Green-winged Teal are using the Great
Lakes region in moderate abundance. Lesser and Greater Scaup, Redhead, Canvasback,
Tundra Swan and Interior Canada Geese typically peak in abundance during late October
and early November, with Common Goldeneye signaling the end of the fall migration in
the Great Lakes region by early December (Anderson et al. 2002).
6
Spring waterfowl inventories of Great Lakes coastal areas have not been
systematic. Distribution of staging migrants in spring may be more dispersed and in a
wider variety of habitats compared to fall (T. Yerkes, Ducks Unlimited, personal
communication). Fall population survey and harvest data can provide a comparison of
species abundance over time as well as an indication of relative value of stopover sites to
priority species during this season. Fall and winter waterfowl inventories reveal the
historical importance of the Great Lakes region to American Black Duck and
Canvasback. For example, 48,400 and 63,400 Black Ducks were observed using western
Lake Erie marshes during December 1986 and 1988, respectively, an estimated 65% of
the Black Ducks counted in the Mississippi Flyway during the Mid-winter Inventory
(Bookhout et al. 1989). During the 25-year period of 1974–1999, the coastal waters from
Lake St. Clair to western Lake Erie accounted for 30–65% of all Mississippi Flyway
Canvasbacks found during the annual November Canvasback Survey (Soulliere et al.
2000). Nearly 80,000 (1999) Canvasbacks have been recorded during this survey on
Lake St. Clair alone.
The Mississippi River corridor within the JV region consists of floodplain
wetlands and deepwater habitats in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri,
which provide important migration habitat for waterfowl (Korschgen 1989). Among the
most valuable areas historically for diving ducks are Navigation Pools 5, 7, 8, 9, 13 and
19 (Keokuk) on the Mississippi, and much of the Illinois River (Korschgen 1989, Havera
1999). Peak numbers of diving ducks during fall from 1948–1996 in the central
Mississippi and Illinois River regions ranged between 64,000–700,000 birds (Havera
1999). Mississippi River Pools 7–9 have accounted for as much as 75% (415,000 in
1999) of the canvasbacks counted during the early November Canvasback survey (J.
Lawrence, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, unpublished data).
The mid-section of the JV region also hosts significant numbers of dabbling ducks
during fall migration including Mallard, Northern Pintail, Black Duck, Blue-winged and
Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, and Wood Duck.
Peak numbers of dabbling ducks inventoried during fall from 1948–1996 in the central
Mississippi and Illinois River valleys ranged between 500,000–2 million birds (Havera
1999). Peak numbers of waterfowl counted during spring for the period 1956–1996 in
these regions approached 1 million birds including nearly 300,000 Mallards and over
200,000 Lesser Scaup (Havera 1999).
The JV region also has substantial breeding populations of several waterfowl
species. Primary breeding ducks include the Mallard, Wood Duck, and Blue-winged
Teal. Recent population estimates for total breeding ducks in the northern portion of the
region approached two million (USFWS 2007a). A majority of the duck harvest in
several JV states originates from populations breeding in the Great Lakes region. For
example, 54–80% of the mallard harvest in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio originates
from this area (Zuwerink 2001). Likewise, >60% of the wood duck harvest in
Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri originates from within state
breeding sources (Bellrose and Holm 1994).
7
Population estimates for Giant Canada Geese in JV states totaled 1.1 million in
2007 (Mississippi Flyway Council Giant Canada Goose Committee, unpublished data).
Resident geese within the region account for the majority of the Canada goose harvest:
Iowa = 92%, Minnesota = 93%, Indiana = 89%, Ohio = 87%, Michigan = 76%, Missouri
= 81%, Illinois = 57%, and Wisconsin = 62% (2002–2004 harvest derivations; U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, unpublished data). In addition, breeding populations of Trumpeter
Swans have been reestablished on wetlands in four northern states of the JV region and
now number >4,000 (J. Johnson, Michigan State University, unpublished data).
The JV region is an important wintering area for a number of waterfowl species.
The upper Mississippi River watershed, including the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and
Illinois rivers, winters as much as 20% of the continental Mallard and Black Duck
populations and 5–10% of the continental Ring-necked Duck population (Bellrose 1980,
Reid et al. 1989). Coastal marsh and deeper water habitats associated with the Great
Lakes provide significant wintering habitat for Greater and Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed
Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, and Common and Red-breasted Mergansers
(Bellrose 1980, Bookhout et al. 1989). Furthermore, the proportion of Canvasbacks,
Scaup, and Mallards counted in the region during the coordinated MWI has increased
substantially in recent years (Appendix D).
Three populations of Interior Canada Geese winter in the region. The Mississippi
Valley Population, which formally wintered in southern Illinois, now largely winters in
central and northern Illinois and occasionally in southern Wisconsin (277,000 in 2002
and 2003, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, unpublished data). Canada
Geese associated with the Southern James Bay Population, formally known as the
Tennessee Valley Population due to their wintering location, now rarely travel south of
Ohio (Bellrose 1980, Abraham and Warr 2003). Likewise, Eastern Prairie Population
Canada Geese wintered largely on the Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri,
but their winter distribution has become increasingly scattered and more northerly.
Relatively stable weather patterns in the JV region likely contribute to less
dynamic and generally less productive wetlands than those found in the mid-continent
prairie. However, these weather patterns result in more reliable wetlands that can provide
resources for an increased proportion of waterfowl during prairie droughts. Wetland
systems in the north half of the JV region, where breeding waterfowl are most common,
receive a buffering influence from the Great Lakes and abundant inland lakes. In
contrast, a majority of waterfowl habitats in southern portions of the region are
components of river systems dependent on flow regimes and are more susceptible to
weather variation and flow manipulation.
The consequence of a large and rapidly expanding human population and
intensively used landscapes has been long-term loss of wetlands important to waterfowl
through disturbance, degradation, and destruction (see Appendix E for extensive list of
threats to regional waterfowl). Agriculture continues to be one of the most significant
negative influences on wetland area in much of the region. In southern Michigan, for
example, agriculture-related drainage and field expansion accounted for 61% of a total
8
17,000 ha of wetland loss between 1980 and 2000 (Ducks Unlimited 2005). Most
alterations to river systems and water use patterns in the southern portion of the JV region
occurred before 1990, but current demand and growing water use continue to concern
waterfowl conservationists as human population and development increase. For example,
increasing demands for Missouri River water has resulted in lower flows into the western
JV region and negative impacts to riparian wetlands in Iowa and Missouri (G. Zenner,
Iowa Department of Natural Resources, personal communication).
Although stable forest area and increasing tree age classes have been generally
positive for cavity-nesting ducks (Soulliere 1990a), grasslands important to groundnesting waterfowl remain only as remnants of what once existed. Over 99% of
Wisconsin’s original grasslands have been converted for agricultural use (Addis et al.
1995) and the availability of surrogate grasslands (pastures, grass hay, and small grains)
for duck nesting has decreased as row-crop agriculture has intensified (Sample and
Mossman 1997).
Cropland area has largely stabilized across the region in recent years, but human
development, especially housing, has grown in importance as a threat to native plant
communities (Brown et al. 2005). The number of housing units in the Midwest grew by
146% between 1940 and 2000 (Radeloff et al. 2005), with the greatest growth occurring
during the 1970s (Hammer et al. 2004). Areas in the region where future growth is
projected to be greatest include the northern suburbs of Detroit-Ann Arbor, northern
Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan along the northeast Lake Michigan coast,
and central Minnesota (Hammer et al. 2004).
The NAWMP (2004) is predicated on the premise that cumulative effects of many
targeted local-scale management actions will ultimately benefit continental waterfowl
populations through improvements in recruitment and survival. A primary NAWMP
objective is to provide sufficient habitat to maintain continental waterfowl populations at
goal levels during periods characterized by “average environmental conditions.” This JV
Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Strategy is the partnership-based regional action plan for
habitat conservation founded on the NAWMP. Habitat objectives were generated based
on available information regarding life history requirements for selected focal waterfowl
species, and these objectives are directly linked to regional population objectives.
Whereas breeding habitat objectives are based on the needs of historic regional breeding
populations, migration and wintering objectives were “stepped down” from the NAWMP
(2004).
Our intent in this plan was to establish explicit regional population and habitat
goals and also to assemble and use the extensive survey data and advancing technological
tools available to increase planning effectiveness. We relied heavily upon science in our
planning process for setting objectives and identified assumptions that require testing to
improve subsequent iterations of the plan. Although this document was written with
goals expressed over a 15-year time horizon, the plan is dynamic and will be refined as
knowledge of regional waterfowl conservation improves and new spatial data can be
incorporated.
9
Population and Habitat Trends
Of the waterfowl species that are relatively abundant in the JV region, the
NAWMP (2004) identifies nine ducks and one Canada Goose population as being high or
moderately-high in continental priority based on population trend and harvest importance
(Table 2). The following discussion regarding population and habitat trends will
emphasize these species. Tundra Swan and Wood Duck also are included because the JV
region is critical to their populations and these species were emphasized in JV
conservation planning.
Table 2. Waterfowl species ranked “high” or “moderately-high” in continental priority in the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan (2004) and occurring in the Upper Mississippi River and Great
Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. Season of occurrence is identified for species common or locally
abundant in ≥1 Bird Conservation Region within the JV boundary according to regional experts;
continental population trend (1970–2003; NAWMP 2004) also is indicated.
Season of occurrence
Population trend
Species
Migration
Breeding
Wintering
Interior Canada Goose,
9
9
Southern James Bay Population
No trend
9
Tundra Swana
Increasing
9
9
Wood Ducka
Increasing
9
American Wigeon
No trend
9
9
9
American Black Duck
Decreasing
9
9
9
Mallard
No trend
9
9
Blue-winged Teal
No trend
9
Northern Pintail
Decreasing
9
9
Canvasback
No trend
9
9
Redhead
No trend
9
9
Lesser Scaup
Decreasing
9
9
Common Goldeneye
No trend
a
Not considered high continental priority in the NAWMP (2004) but selected as JV focal species for
conservation planning and monitoring.
Breeding waterfowl populations receive limited survey coverage beyond the
traditional mid-continent Prairie and Parkland (USFWS 2007a), thus alternative
population indices must be used to help identify regional trends on which to base
management decisions. The often remote and aquatic landscapes used by waterfowl
make the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) an inadequate sampling
technique for the waterfowl group as a whole. However, most species that commonly
nest in the JV region are recorded on BBS routes, providing a useful population index
over time. Adequate BBS sample locations were available in the region to establish
relatively precise (trends significantly different from zero) long-term population trends
for five breeding species (Table 3). These data indicate Mallard, Wood Duck, and
Canada Goose populations increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) over the last 40 years. In
contrast, Blue-winged Teal and Redhead populations declined over the long-term, and
during recent years the Mallard population also has declined.
10
Table 3. Long-term (1966–2006) and short-term (1997–2006) population trend estimates (annual %
change) for waterfowl species that breed within USFWS Region 3a and are recorded during the North
American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS, Sauer et al. 2006).
1966–2006
1997–2006
Species
Trend
P-valueb nc
Trend P-value
n
Canada Goose (resident population)
11.36
0.00 406
6.87
0.01
326
Wood Duck
2.61
0.00 376
1.70
0.48
217
American Black Duck
1.53
0.48 15
nad
na
3
Mallard
1.17
0.02 476
-3.64
0.00
340
Blue-winged Teal
-4.21
0.00 136
-4.30
0.12
54
Redhead
-13.56
0.04 9
na
na
2
Ring-necked Duck
5.48
0.38 26
3.29
0.58
10
Common Goldeneye
-10.31
0.63 5
na
na
na
a
USFWS Region 3 includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and
Wisconsin.
b
P-values represent confidence in trend direction with values closer to zero reflecting a greater degree of
confidence in the trend; for example, values <0.05 reflect >95% confidence in trend direction.
c
n = number of BBS routes used for regional trend average.
d
na = inadequate survey data to generate a trend estimate.
Estimates of some breeding waterfowl populations are available from the annual
Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS) conducted across northern
states in the JV region. Agencies in three JV states have generated population estimates
for breeding Mallards, Blue-winged Teal, and Wood Ducks (Figure 2), as well as total
ducks and Giant Canada Geese. Population trends, distribution, and abundance based on
aerial surveys across the northern half of the region closely reflect BBS findings. Indeed,
Mallard and Wood Duck population estimates have gradually increased, whereas Bluewinged Teal population estimates have been more erratic and have generally declined.
However, Wood Duck population estimates from the WBPHS are considerably less
precise than for Mallards or Blue-winged Teal.
American Black Duck populations have declined substantially on the western side
of their traditional breeding range (Brook et al. 2005). They currently occur in such low
abundance within the JV region that population estimates are based on expert opinion.
Black Ducks are still reported annually in Michigan, where they are more common in the
northern portion of the state. A special Black Duck survey conducted in 1991–1993
provides Minnesota’s only abundance and distribution information for this species; very
few were found and only in the northeast corner of the state.
Landscape trends positively influencing one species may have adverse effects on
another, as reflected in the divergent population trends of Wood Duck and Blue-winged
Teal (Figure 3). Reforestation and succession during the last several decades are believed
to be important influences in Wood Duck population recovery (Soulliere 1990a), but
could be having a negative effect on Blue-wing Teal in the eastern portion of their range,
including the JV region (R. Gatti, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, personal
communication). The Mallard has expanded east and south based on BBS data,
reflecting its apparent adaptability; urban/suburban populations seem especially robust.
Black Duck populations have declined even though vast areas of northern marsh and
forested-wetland complexes, and generally abundant Beaver (Castor canadensis)
populations, appear to be providing a stable breeding habitat base.
11
MN
WI
MI
600,000
Mallard
500,000
400,000
300,000
200,000
100,000
0
450,000
400,000
Blue-winged Teal
350,000
300,000
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
0
450,000
400,000
Wood Duck
350,000
300,000
250,000
200,000
150,000
100,000
50,000
20
07
20
04
20
01
19
98
19
95
19
92
19
89
19
86
19
83
19
80
19
77
19
74
19
71
19
68
0
Figure 2. Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, and Wood Duck population estimates for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and
Michigan based on the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. Survey effort and associated
population estimates for Minnesota include only 40% of the state, and much of the survey area is outside the
Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region. Blue-winged Teal estimates for some years
were excluded for Wisconsin (1981, 2004 and 2005) and Minnesota (1976 and 2002) due to survey
abnormalities / late spring migration; data points for these years were generated using population estimates
from surrounding years.
12
A)
B)
Figure 3. Population trends of A) Wood Duck and B) Blue-winged Teal are moving in opposite
directions in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes region based on Breeding Bird Survey data,
1966–2003 (Sauer et al. 2004). Areas of increasing populations are represented in blue and decreasing
populations in red.
Although not a NAWMP priority, Giant Canada Geese are one of the most
common waterfowl species breeding in the JV region. Because of their versatility in
nesting and brood-rearing sites, habitat is not considered to be limiting. Likewise,
Trumpeter Swans use a variety of open water wetlands, including large Beaver ponds, for
reproduction. Populations of this species continue to grow across the northern half of the
JV region and also are not considered limited by habitat.
Waterfowl abundance in the region during fall migration and winter depends on
continental and local breeding population size, breeding habitat quality and subsequent
recruitment, and migration behavior. General “migration corridors” have been identified
across the region (Bellrose 1980), with dabbling ducks and geese largely moving north
and south. Many of the diving ducks and Tundra Swans also move diagonally (west and
east) during their north-south migration. Thus breeding habitat conditions from Ontario
to Alaska can influence flights of migrating ducks and Tundra Swans in the JV region,
whereas spring weather and habitat conditions on the Hudson Bay coast largely govern
abundance of Interior Canada Geese. However, fall and winter weather (e.g., snow and
ice conditions) can greatly influence waterfowl abundance in the JV region on an annual
basis.
Availability of high-energy food resources, coupled with warmer weather and the
adaptability of some species, appears to be resulting in increased numbers of waterfowl
spending at least a portion of the winter in the JV region. Based on MWI, the region now
accounts for ≥10% of Mallard (15%), Canvasback (20%), Common Goldeneye (25%),
and Merganser (25%) wintering populations. Black Ducks are an exception to the trend,
as this species has declined significantly in western and central portions of its wintering
range while remaining stable or increasing in the northeastern U.S. and southern Canada
(Link et al. 2006). The JV region now accounts for about 5% of Black Ducks recorded
during the MWI, down from 15% in the 1970s.
13
Use of abundant agricultural fields, particularly those containing waste grain and
winter wheat, has benefited migrating and wintering Canada Geese, Mallards, Tundra
Swans, and Trumpeter Swans. However, loss and degradation of healthy wetlands have
likely reduced regional carrying capacity for other species of migrating waterfowl,
especially diving ducks. Migration stop-over sites along the Illinois River, Detroit River,
Lake Erie, and portions of the Mississippi River once supported much greater use than is
currently recorded (Martz et al. 1976, Bellrose et al. 1979, Bookhout et al. 1989,
Korschgen 1989, Havera 1999); declines in use by Lesser Scaup and Canvasback are
most dramatic. Historic wetland composition and waterfowl energetic carrying capacity
were recently evaluated for the Illinois River Valley (Stafford et al. 2007). Surprisingly,
total food energy available to waterfowl was not significantly different over three time
periods dating back to 1939. However, significant degradation and loss of quality
permanent marsh and deep water wetlands (i.e., diving duck habitat) was documented,
and declines in food energy from this community type was largely offset by increases in
non-persistent emergent vegetation wetlands (i.e., moist soil plant communities).
In general, declines in diving duck use of regional wetlands are attributed to
decreases of important foods (e.g., Wild celery (Vallisneria americana) and Fingernail
Clams; Sphaeriidae) that coincided with a variety of factors, including increased
pollution, sedimentation, and exotic plant invasions as well as altered hydrology. An
estimated 72% decline in wild celery tubers in the lower Detroit River between 1950 and
1985 resulted in potential loss of 147,000 feeding days for Canvasbacks and 241,000
days for Redheads (Schloesser and Manny 1990). In addition to habitat loss and
degradation, disturbance by recreational boaters in the lower Great Lakes (Martz et al.
1976, Knapton et al. 2000) and Upper Mississippi River may displace diving ducks from
preferred feeding and resting areas. More recently, invasion of lakes and large rivers by
the exotic Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has had unclear impacts on waterfowl.
High infestations by these filter feeders typically results in increased water clarity and
resurgence of submerged aquatic plants, in addition to a new invertebrate food resource.
However, mineral and contaminant concentrations in Zebra Mussels can be high (Custer
and Custer 2000, Petrie et al. 2007), and they have been associated with the loss of native
mussel species.
Whereas the large rivers and inland lakes of the JV region provide critical
waterfowl migration habitat, the Great Lakes coastal zone also is very important. Its vast
natural communities are relatively intact in the northern part of the region but
increasingly influenced by development in the south. Seasonal and longer-term
fluctuating water levels in the Great Lakes (Figure 4) result in dynamic waterbird habitat
values over time. Changes in water levels encourage shifts in plant communities (Albert
2003) through lateral displacement (lakeward and landward shifts in plant community
location) and horizontal zonation (varied composition / height of adjacent plant stands),
especially vital to dabbling ducks.
14
178.5
176.5
175.5
176.7
N
ov
M
ar
Se
p
176.1
Ja
n
173.5
176.4
Ju
l
174.5
M
ay
Water level (m)
177.5
19
18
19
23
19
28
19
33
19
38
19
43
19
48
19
53
19
58
19
63
19
68
19
73
19
78
19
83
19
88
19
93
19
98
20
03
172.5
Year
Figure 4. Lake Michigan-Huron yearly average water level from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2004),
1918–2003. Inset displays change in average monthly water level, 1918–2003.
Although the area and rate of wetland loss has slowed within the region in recent
years, agricultural conversion and urban and rural development continue to reduce the
amount of emergent herbaceous wetland (Ducks Unlimited 2005, Dahl 2006) potentially
available to waterfowl. Other less direct human-induced changes to the environment
degrade or at least alter waterfowl habitat. These factors include wetland acidification,
spread of exotic plant species, wetland type conversion, climate change, and other threats
(Appendix E). A warming climate may be causing the observed northward range
expansion of wintering waterfowl. In addition, declining Great Lakes water levels also
are partly attributed to warmer winters (greater evaporation on increasingly ice-free
lakes); declining water levels have resulted in significant recolonization and expansion of
coastal marsh since the mid-1990s. Finally, wetland and grassland restoration and
impoundment or pond creation (Dahl 2006) are examples of human influences providing
additional waterfowl habitat in some areas.
Biological Foundation
Assembling the biological foundation or underpinnings for conservation planning
included identification of waterfowl habitat needs and factors believed to limit
populations. These factors were then translated and quantified into landscape attributes
used in biological models describing expected species-habitat relationships. Population
goals and “deficits” (population goal – current population = population deficit) were
determined and JV focal species were selected for planning emphasis and habitat model
development. Implicit in this approach are simplifying assumptions regarding
relationships between species abundance, vital rates, and underlying habitat carrying
capacity. For example, we have not attempted to address factors such as sport harvest
15
that may keep waterfowl abundance below habitat carrying capacity yet still in a
productive state relative to objectives for population harvest yields (Anderson et al.
2007). We also recognize limitations of using abundance to set habitat objectives, but
have adopted our approach in the absence of models predicting response of vital rates to
bird density under varying habitat conditions.
The quantity of habitat required by most species of waterfowl varies with the
quality of the habitat, and habitat needs change throughout the year. Density estimates
exist for some species, which can provide an indicator of the number of individuals a
particular cover type is known to support during different seasons. Using density
estimates, published data, and expert opinion of key site attributes required by each
species, biological models can be developed to generate habitat objectives predicted to
achieve population targets. Models using biological and spatial data to generate explicit
habitat objectives (i.e., what, where, when, and how much habitat is required) are
described in JV focal species and guild accounts (Appendices A and B).
Planning Framework
The purpose of this JV Waterfowl Habitat Strategy is to provide an action plan for
habitat conservation based on science and partnership. The plan is founded on the
NAWMP, but with boundaries, habitat conditions, conservation needs, and partner goals
characteristic of the JV region. Habitat objectives were linked to JV population goals
based on current understanding of population-habitat relationships of waterfowl that
breed, migrate, and or winter in the region. However, recommendations provided are
based on imperfect knowledge that we expect will improve as waterfowl conservation
activities are implemented and evaluated.
Designing landscapes to meet regional bird habitat conservation objectives is a
new science which has been described in a “five element process” (Will et al. 2005).
Once conservation partners have collectively identified priority birds and agreed on
population goals, remaining steps in the planning process included: 1) landscape
characterization and assessment, 2) bird population response modeling, 3) conservation
opportunities assessment, 4) optimal landscape design, and 5) monitoring and evaluation.
Although available information was incomplete and imperfect, these elements were used
to develop waterfowl habitat objectives and, more importantly, to initiate a process for
adaptive planning. Population status and goals were identified for several species
commonly breeding in the JV region or occurring during migration and or winter (nonbreeding). The five element process was applied primarily to a group of JV breeding
focal species and non-breeding guilds, but each represented a different community type
important to waterfowl during breeding and non-breeding periods.
Habitat objectives must be biologically-based, spatially explicit, and landscapeoriented to most effectively support and sustain bird populations at goal levels.
Conservation partners work together to assess habitat conditions and ownership patterns,
evaluate current species distributions and bird-habitat relationships, and determine where
on the landscape habitat conservation effort can most efficiently be delivered to support
16
explicitly-stated population objectives. Objectives must be explicitly stated for
performance measurement and to develop a foundation for adaptive management.
Although identifying landscape trends important in influencing waterfowl
populations was part of this planning process, our ability to quantify waterfowl habitat
was limited by the digital spatial datasets currently available at the regional level (i.e.,
National Land Cover Data – NLCD and National Wetland Inventory – NWI). Moreover,
availability of some critical cover type data (e.g., NWI) was inconsistent across the JV
region and outdated (20–30 years-old).
Limiting Factors
A key assumption in waterfowl habitat conservation is that factors limiting
populations during specific life cycle events can be impacted through habitat
conservation programs. Identification of limiting factors and understanding ecological
relationships are essential when developing habitat goals, objectives, and conservation
strategies. Unfortunately, factors influencing population growth for most waterfowl
species occurring in the JV region are uncertain. Some information has recently been
made available on the relative sensitivity of breeding mallard populations (Hoekman et
al. 2006, Coluccy et al. 2008) to changes in vital rates, while additional research currently
underway will help inform conservation decisions about other species during the
breeding and non-breeding seasons.
Information from comparatively long-lived waterfowl species such as geese and
swans suggests that adult survival has the greatest impact on population dynamics
relative to other vital rates (Brault et al. 1994, Rockwell et al. 1997, Schmutz et al. 1997,
Coluccy et al. 2004). For most geese, hunting is the primary cause of mortality (Raveling
and Lumsden 1977, Krohn and Bizeau 1980) and harvest management is the primary tool
for managing goose populations within the JV area (see Mississippi Flyway Council
Canada Goose plans). Mallard population dynamics in the region appears to be most
sensitive to changes in habitat associated with duckling survival, followed by nest
success, renesting rate, and breeding incidence (Coluccy et al. 2008).
Breeding waterfowl may be excluded or in a state of population decline in areas
lacking specific landscape attributes. Breeding Blue-wing Teal, for example, are
distributed in Wisconsin according to the abundance and distribution of wetlands and
grasslands suitable for reproduction and the correlation is stronger with wetlands than
grasslands (R. Gatti, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, personal
communication). This species may be sensitive to the presence of forest cover and
declining where open (un-forested) landscapes are dwindling. Mallards appear to be
limited by wetlands, particularly brood habitat (Coluccy et al. 2008). Mallard duckling
survival in the Great Lakes Region was positively related to proportion of wetland area
vegetated and negatively related to proportion of forest cover within 500 m of ducking
locations, suggesting conservation efforts to improve duckling survival should be focused
on vegetated wetlands in lightly-forested areas (Simpson et al. 2007). Relationships
between nest success and landscape (upland and wetland) covariates in the Great Lakes
17
region also indicate Mallard nest survival is strongly negatively influenced by the
proportion of cropland within the nesting area (J. Davis, Ducks Unlimited, unpublished
data).
10
Wood Ducks are common across the JV region and depend on mature trees and
wetlands, especially forested wetlands, during reproduction. Hardwood forest expansion
and maturation across the eastern U.S. have positively influenced Wood Duck
populations, and the practice of providing artificial nest sites for this species is no longer
an effective habitat management technique at the landscape scale (Soulliere 1986,
1990b). Hardwood forest area in the JV region is relatively stable and average tree age
and sizes (diameter) continue to increase, resulting in increasing natural cavity densities
(Figure 5). Relatively versatile in use of various wetland and deciduous forest types
(Bellrose and Holm 1994), Wood Ducks may be limited by something other than nesting
habitat. Availability of invertebrate rich wetlands for brood rearing has been suggested
as a potential limiting factor but this hypothesis has not been tested.
2
5
R = 0.4752
0
Cavities / ha
0.0625x
y = 2E-54e
1950
1960
1970
1980
Year
1990
2000
2010
Figure 5. Density of tree cavities considered suitable for Wood Duck nest sites based on 11 published
research projects conducted across the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes region, 1952–1999.
Studies and locations (state) include: Dries and Hendrickson 1952 – IA, Hartowicz 1963 – MO, Bellrose et
al. 1964, Weier 1966 – MO, Nagel 1969 – MN, Boyer 1974 – MI, Gilmer et al. 1978 – MN, Soulliere 1988
– WI, Robb 1986 – IN, Yetter et al. 1995 – IL, and Zwicker 1999 – IL.
Black Ducks do not appear limited by breeding habitat in the JV region. Their
range consists of northern forested wetlands and beaver ponds which are largely stable,
and Black Ducks successfully reproduce on sites with relatively low productivity
(Seymour and Jackson 1996). Mallard introgressive hybridization into the Black Duck
gene pool, probably as a result of mixed pairing, may be an important factor in the
western range population decline (N. Seymour, St. Francis Xavier University, personal
communication). Habitat conservation directed at protecting landscapes that currently
support breeding Black Ducks (albeit at low densities) may be more appropriate than
intensive efforts to increase recruitment at local scales (Petrie et al. 2000).
Habitat condition and availability during the non-breeding season can influence
survival and subsequent reproductive success (Heitmeyer and Fredrickson 1981,
Kaminski and Gluesing 1987, Raveling and Heitmeyer 1989, Barboza and Jorde 2002).
The abundance and accessibility of quality foods and adequate energy are considered key
18
factors limiting waterfowl during migration and winter (Miller 1986, Conroy et al. 1989,
Reinecke et al. 1989), particularly duck species that depend on wetlands and open-water
sites. Conversely, species adapted to feed on waste grain in agricultural settings do not
appear to be food limited during fall in the JV region, however future changes in
agricultural practices may alter this assumption.
Waterfowl food resources produced in portions of the JV region are abundant
during fall for several dabbling and diving ducks (Korschgen et al. 1988, Steckel 2003,
K. Kenow, U.S. Geological Survey, unpublished data) and Canada Geese (Gates et al.
2001). Conversely, water quality and submerged plant and invertebrate communities
have become increasingly degraded in other areas (Stafford et al. 2007), limiting fall
nutritional resources for species relying solely on within-wetland foods. Although we
lack information regarding consistent availability of quality foods due to location and
disturbance, waterfowl demonstrate some flexibility when food supply is interrupted
(Barboza and Jorde 2002). For purposes of conservation prioritization in this plan, the
energetic carrying capacity of the landscape during fall is assumed to be adequate. We
recognize, however, the issue of fall food availability for obligate wetland foragers
deserves investigation.
Winter and spring food requirements necessary to optimize reproduction are not
well understood. Forage and non-agricultural foods appear to be essential sources of
protein and other nutrients during spring migration for Canada Geese (Gates et al. 2001)
and dabbling ducks (Raveling and Heitmeyer 1989) including Mallard, Blue-winged
Teal, and Wood Duck. Whereas waste grain is a critical food resource for some
waterfowl, there are nutritional drawbacks (Dubovsky and Kaminski 1994), and
conservation of natural food resources is essential.
Late winter and spring nutrition and survival may limit some species, particularly
Black Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and Canvasback, which rely little on agricultural landscapes.
However, there remains a paucity of information regarding the abundance and
availability of spring waterfowl foods in the JV region. Studies within the region
comparing availability of spring vs. fall waterfowl foods suggests fall foods exceed the
needs of waterfowl but spring foods were likely inadequate (Steckel 2003) and or
availability could be effectively increased via management (Greer 2004). Based on
current evidence, spring nutrition may have greater potential to limit duck populations
and should be a conservation emphasis. In some areas, however, other factors such as
habitat disturbance, quality, and juxtaposition add considerations beyond gross energy.
Habitat quality should be measured not only by the density of birds using a site,
but also the level of productivity and survival of those birds (Van Horne 1983). Altered
behavior, forage availability, and susceptibility to predation can affect local reproductive
success and subsequent population size. Likewise, land use can influence wetland quality
and values to breeding, migrating, and wintering waterfowl. For example, agricultural
practices affect the turbidity, prey base, and vegetation characteristics of adjacent
wetlands, all of which influence the wetland’s quality and ability to support waterfowl.
19
Population Status and Goals
Population estimates and goals are essential for determining population deficits
and generating model-based habitat objectives. Breeding waterfowl population goals for
the JV region were not “stepped down” from NAWMP (2004) goals. JV regional
populations were relatively low during the 1970s (i.e., the NAWMP target period for
ducks). Therefore, goals were determined using more recent spring survey data
combined with input from state wildlife management agencies. Conversely, migration
and wintering goals were stepped down from the continental plan (NAWMP 2004) using
proportioning techniques to estimate the JV regional share of continental waterfowl use
(and habitat needs) during these seasons.
Quantifying breeding and non-breeding population goals and describing how best
to achieve these targets via habitat conservation are central components of this strategy.
However, planners must recognize establishing science-based habitat goals and
objectives is a relatively new process. Refinement in methodology is expected as
improved population and habitat data become available. Moreover, there are many
population influences outside the control of JV partners, thus population goals are best
viewed as guidelines for quantifying and targeting habitat conservation.
Breeding Goals
In order to develop breeding population goals for species in the JV region, current
population estimates and trends had to be determined. Estimates for breeding Mallards
and total ducks are readily available for Wisconsin, Michigan, and much of Minnesota
(USFWS 2007a). Mallards account for approximately half the ducks breeding in the JV
region, and populations generally have increased during recent decades (Figure 6).
Additional population data based on the WBPHS, including estimates for Blue-winged
Teal, Wood Duck, and Giant Canada Goose also are available for Wisconsin (Van Horn
et al. 2007), Michigan (Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unpublished data),
and much of Minnesota (Cordts 2007).
In recent years, JV Mallard populations have declined, and the current (2003–
2007 average) population estimate for the primary breeding area of the JV region is about
20% lower than the 10-year average whereas the total duck population estimate for the
same period is 15% lower (Figure 6). Blue-winged Teal are below 1970s peak
population levels. Wood Duck populations also appear to be stable or declining over the
JV region in recent years (Figure 2), but this species is difficult to accurately inventory.
Black Duck populations were likely much higher in the region before the WBPHS, but
actual estimates are unavailable. Breeding Black Ducks historically outnumbered
Mallards in Michigan (Pirnie 1935) but not in Wisconsin (Jahn and Hunt 1964).
20
1500
Thousands
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Michigan
1000
Mallards
500
0
3000
Thousands
2500
Total ducks
2000
1500
1000
2006
2004
2002
2000
1998
1996
1994
1992
1990
1988
1986
1984
1982
1980
1978
1976
1974
1972
1970
0
1968
500
Year
Figure 6. Mallard and total duck population estimates for primary breeding states in the Upper Mississippi
River and Great Lakes region based on the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS;
USFWS 2007a). The survey did not begin in Wisconsin until 1973 and Michigan until 1993; pre-survey
estimates for these states (WI 1968–1972 and MI 1968–1991) were extrapolated from Minnesota data using
the proportional distribution of mallards and total ducks during 1992–2007, when all three states completed
the survey.
Provisional breeding population goals were set for species that are relatively
abundant in the JV region with the intent of refining them as more information becomes
available. For planning purposes, current populations were determined with estimated
average abundance during the last five years (2003–2007). We used an interpolation and
regression technique comparing WBPHS and BBS data to generate population estimates
for JV areas outside the three primary breeding states, which conduct the WBPHS, and
for un-surveyed portions of Minnesota (Appendix F). Because current populations of
most breeding species are about 20% below peaks in recent decades and because current
monitoring techniques are unlikely to detect population change <20%, we used a goal of
20% increase for breeding species (Table 4).
Population goals are intended to be met under “average environmental
conditions,” thus maintaining current populations will require habitat conservation efforts
that consider periodic drought and wet cycles. State agencies that monitor environmental
conditions and have identified relationships with breeding waterfowl abundance may
wish to further refine state-level population goals. For example, the state of Michigan
established a breeding mallard goal of “420,000 with average Great Lakes water levels”
(D. Luukkonen, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, personal communication).
21
Table 4. Population estimates, goals, and deficits by Bird Conservation Region (BCR)a for waterfowl
commonly breeding in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. The JV
region largely consists of BCRs 22, 23, and the U.S. portion of 12 (35% of BCR 12). Portions of BCR 24
(19%), 13 (11%), and 28 (7%) also are within the JV boundary; waterfowl estimates for these BCRs are not
included when the area accounts for <1% of the JV regional population.
Deficit recovery
Current
Speciesb and BCR
Population goald
Population deficite
distribution (%)
populationc
Wood Duck
BCR 12
165,000
198,000
33,000
27
BCR 23
215,500
258,600
43,100
35
BCR 22
197,600
237,120
39,520
32
BCR 13
4,800
5,760
960
1
BCR 24
24,500
29,400
4,900
4
BCR 28
4,900
5,880
980
1
Total
612,300
734,760
122,460
100
American Black Duck
BCR 12
6,000
7,200
1,200
86
BCR 23
1,000
1,200
200
14
Total
7,000
8,400
1,400
100
Mallard
BCR 12
328,900
394,680
65,780
31
BCR 23
485,100
582,120
97,020
45
BCR 22
215,300
258,360
43,060
20
BCR 13
21,700
26,040
4,340
2
BCR 24
12,700
15,240
2,540
1
BCR 28
8,700
10,440
1,740
1
Total
1,072,400
1,286,880
214,480
100
Blue-winged Teal
BCR 12
51,600
61,920
10,320
16
BCR 23
242,800
291,360
48,560
75
BCR 22
31,300
37,560
6,260
10
Total
325,700
390,840
65,140
100
a
Bird Conservation Regions: BCR 12 = Boreal Hardwood Transition, BCR 23 = Prairie Hardwood
Transition, BCR 22 = Eastern Tallgrass Prairie, BCR 13 = Lower Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Plain,
BCR 24 = Central Hardwoods, and BCR 28 = Appalachian Mountains.
b
Several common breeding species are not included. Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan, and Mute Swan
are common in some BCRs, but they are not considered habitat limited or their management is dictated
through a separate population plan (e.g., Mississippi Flyway Council plan). Poorly represented with the
Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS), the Ring-necked Duck also is common
in northern areas of the JV region; a special survey in BCR 12 of Minnesota revealed an estimated
18,000 breeding Ring-necked Ducks (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, unpublished data).
c
Current populations = 2003–2007 mean estimate. BCR 12 and 23 estimates were based on average
densities determined from the WBPHS (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota), multiplied by the area in
the BCR. BCR 13, 22, 24 and 28 estimates were based on North American Breeding Bird Survey
relative abundance adjusted to density estimates from the WBPHS (see Appendix F for methods).
d
Population goals call for a 20% increase, reflecting population peaks in recent decades.
e
Population deficit = population goal – current population.
22
Migration and Wintering Goals
Ten NAWMP priority species stage in the JV region during migration and seven
of these also winter in the region (Table 2). In order to link regional migration and
wintering habitat goals to continental population goals we used multiple sources of
survey data. We began with NAWMP continental spring population estimates based on
averages for the period 1994–2003 (NAWMP 2004:22–32), referred to in this strategy as
the “current continental estimate” for migration and winter habitat planning. Waterfowl
abundance for most species was relatively high during this period. Using a continental
(vs. only mid-continent / “traditional survey area”) goal was logical considering
waterfowl distribution and primary migration corridors.
The number of each species to be accommodated during migration was calculated
using the proportion of U.S. harvest (average for 1980–1999) occurring in the JV region
(Table 5). For example, 22% (based on harvest) of the 13 million North American
Mallards (average 1994–2003 continental breeding population, NAWMP 2004) is
predicted to be accommodated in the JV region during migration, thus a migration goal
for this species was established at 2.89 million birds (13,000,000 x 0.222 = 2,886,000).
This approach assumes fall and spring migration patterns are similar, which is inaccurate
for some species. It also assumes distribution of harvest roughly reflects distribution of
birds during migration; however, harvest distribution can be influenced by regulations
(MFCTS 1998).
Winter population goals were determined in a similar manner, except that data
from the MWI was substituted for harvest data (Table 5). Again using Mallards as an
example, the 13 million NAWMP continental spring estimate was multiplied by the
average proportion wintering (14% for 1996–2005) in the JV region based on the MWI,
resulting in a wintering population goal of 1.82 million (13,000,000 x 0.14 = 1,820,000).
We acknowledge the MWI provides only a crude estimate of wintering duck abundance
and distribution. Weaknesses in both harvest and MWI apportioning approaches must be
addressed in future iterations of the strategy.
Following recruitment, fall populations are larger then spring populations,
however spring migration habitat was assumed to be more limiting then fall, thus the
“population bottleneck” for migration habitat planning. Waterfowl needs during fall
were assumed to be accommodated if spring and winter requirements identified in this
strategy are fulfilled. However, conditions outside the JV region influence the
distribution and abundance of migrating waterfowl during individual years. Therefore,
carrying capacity (vs. bird counts) will be a more appropriate measure of goal
achievement for migration/wintering habitat.
Current continental breeding waterfowl populations are relatively high with the
exception of Lesser Scaup, American Black Duck, and Northern Pintail. These species
have declined and population deficits can be established for them (Table 6). In addition
to maintaining current carrying capacity, migration/wintering habitat restoration
objectives will be developed in an effort to increase carrying capacity (i.e., eliminate the
23
deficit) for JV non-breeding populations currently below NAWMP goals. Migration and
wintering goals were apportioned across the JV region using harvest and MWI data.
Table 5. Migration and wintering population estimates for waterfowl species common in the Upper
Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. Migration estimates were generated from
1980–1999 JV regional harvest proportionsa multiplied by continental population estimates (NAWMP
2004), except for swans which were based on expert opinion. Winter estimates were generated from 1996–
2005 JV regional Mid-winter Inventory proportions multiplied by the continental population. Numbers are
shown in thousands.
Harvest
Mid-winter Inventory
Regionb
Region
c
Species
Light Goose (Snow and Ross’)
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Total
U.S.
Population estimate
JV
Total
%
U.S.
Total
%
962.8
75.9
1,366.6
372.3
No harvest
No harvest
No harvest
1,071.5
295.7
792.8
75.3
563.8
67.7
183.3
30.4
3,666.1
813.9
677.2
125.3
338.6
22.7
503.9
31.7
1,213.4
151.7
53.1
11.9
117.0
27.8
399.9
128.8
46.4
12.3
297.9
88.2
14.9
1.0
13.4
1.4
7.2
1.0
14.0
0.9
125.9
40.5
60.2
21.2
58.7
22.8
12.3
3.4
16.2
3.1
35.6
6.9
12,612.6
2,433.9
7.9
27.2
3,535.9
3,835.0
23.6
4.2
179.9
32.3
2,018.2
1,119.1
261.7
5,440.7
157.3
762.2
2,367.1
1,839.8
298.9
445.1
514.0
162.5
920.7
39.2
39.2
26.1
8.0
162.5
117.9
58.3
166.9
39.7
187.9
24,763.9
458.8
1,106.2
6.4
0.3
1.4
0.8
8.5
2.7
20.1
772.7
0.2
3.6
20.5
2.0
52.5
29.2
11.8
6.2
35.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.6
11.3
30.6
11.5
33.0
7.9
0.5
2,634.4
13.0
28.8
27.0
8.2
0.8
2.5
0.4
0.2
7.7
14.2
0.1
0.5
0.9
0.1
17.6
6.6
2.3
3.8
3.8
0.0
0.0
0.0
7.3
6.9
25.9
19.8
19.8
19.8
0.3
10.6
27.6
9.5
12.0
16.6
22.2
18.5
6.7
6.3
12.5
22.4
23.8
32.2
26.5
29.6
7.0
10.7
13.3
6.7
32.2
35.2
38.9
27.7
19.3
19.5
19.3
a
Continental Migration
4,664.2
6,000.0
20.0
23.6
186.3
4,600.0
3,900.0
3,100.0
910.0
13,000.0
7,500.0
3,800.0
3,600.0
3,900.0
740.0
1,200.0
2,000.0
800.0
4,400.0
600.0
600.0
400.0
1,000.0
1,400.0
1,345.0
350.0
1,000.0
250.0
1,102.0
72,391.1
368.5
1,632.0
10.6
2.4
40.0
1,269.6
370.5
372.0
151.1
2,886.0
1,387.5
254.6
226.8
487.5
165.8
285.6
644.0
212.0
1,302.4
42.0
64.2
53.2
67.0
450.8
473.4
136.2
277.0
48.3
214.9
13,895.7
Winter
606.3
1,728.0
5.4
1.9
1.5
116.4
16.4
7.6
69.9
1,846.4
10.2
17.7
31.2
4.2
130.0
78.6
46.0
30.5
167.7
0.1
0.1
0.0
73.0
96.9
348.9
69.2
197.7
49.4
3.0
5,754.5
Region total based on average 1980–1999 harvest (NSST 2000) in Bird Conservation Regions 12, 22, and
23, plus partial harvest based on land area in BCRs 13 (25%), 24 (20%), and 28 (7%). U.S. total harvest
was the sum of average 1980–1999 harvest for all BCRs except those in Alaska and Hawaii.
b
Region Mid-winter Inventory total based on states within USFWS Region 3 (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin).
c
Species with combined Mid-winter Inventory total counts were separated based on estimated percentage of
continental population within combinations: Greater Scaup = 15%, Lesser Scaup = 85%; Surf Scoter =
37.5%, White-winged Scoter = 37.5%, and Black Scoter = 25%; Common Goldeneye = 85% and Barrow’s
Goldeneye (not included above) = 15%; Hooded Merganser = 22%, Common Merganser = 63%, and Redbreasted Merganser = 15%.
24
Table 6. Change in estimated continental population size for waterfowl species migrating and wintering in
the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region.a Current populations (1994-2003) and
deficits were determined to generate total migration/wintering conservation needs for “maintenance and
protection” (to accommodate current populations) and “restoration and enhancement” (to restore carrying
capacity for population deficits).
Species
1970–1979
1994–2003
Deficit
Restoration target (%)
Lesser Snow Goose
2,490,800
0
2,742,000
Ross’s Goose
619,00
0
400,000
Cackling Goose (TGP)
421,900
0
292,600
Canada Goose
2,180,300
0
1,675,000
Mute Swan
na
20,000
0
Trumpeter Swan
1,462
2,430
0
Tundra Swan
82,000
103,400
0
Wood Duck
3,000,000
4,600,000
0
Gadwall
2,000,000
3,900,000
0
American Wigeon
3,500,000
3,100,000
400,000
13
American Black Duck
1,400,000
910,000
490,000
54
Mallard
11,000,000
13,000,000
0
Blue-winged Teal
7,240,000
0
5,800,000b
Northern Shoveler
2,000,000
3,800,000
0
Northern Pintail
7,000,000
3,600,000
3,400,000
94
Green-winged Teal
3,000,000
3,900,000
0
Canvasback
600,000
740,000
0
Redhead
900,000
1,200,000
0
Ring-necked Duck
1,000,000
2,000,000
0
Greater Scaup
800,000
400,000
50
1,200,000c
Lesser Scaup
6,800,000c
4,400,000
2,400,000
55
Surf Scoter
800,000d
600,000
200,000
33
White-winged Scoter
700,000d
600,000
100,000
17
Black Scoter
500,000d
400,000
100,000
25
Long-tailed Duck
2,700,000
1,000,000
1,700,000
170
Bufflehead
1,000,000
1,400,000
0
Common Goldeneye
1,345,000
0
1,275,000e
Hooded Merganser
350,000
0
330,000f
Common Merganser
1,000,000
0
945,000f
Red-breasted Merganser
250,000
0
225,000f
Ruddy Duck
700,000
1,102,000
0
a
The 1970s estimates are from the NAWMP (1998) and 1994–2003 estimates are from the 2004
NAWMP update, except for swans and geese. Trumpeter and Tundra Swan and goose population
estimates are from time periods 1995–1998 and 2001–2003. A Mute Swan population estimate was
not available (na) in the 1998 NAWMP. Canada Goose population estimates (and goals) from the
NAWMP (2001–2003 average) for primary populations using the JV region total 2,180,300 (goal =
1,675,000): Southern James Bay = 95,200 (100,000), Mississippi Valley = 325,200 (375,000), Eastern
Prairie = 220,300 (220,000), and Mississippi Flyway Giants = 1,539,600 (1,000,000). These
populations are managed via Mississippi Flyway Council harvest strategies.
b
The 1970s Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal total population estimate multiplied by 0.97 for an
estimate of Blue-winged Teal based on proportional estimate for 1994–2003.
c
Total 1970s Scaup (Lesser and Greater) population estimate multiplied by 0.15 for an estimate of
Greater Scaup and 0.85 for an estimate of Lesser Scaup based on proportional estimate for 1994–2003.
d
Total 1970s Scoter (Surf, White-winged, and Black) population estimate multiplied by 0.40 for an
estimate of Surf Scoter, 0.35 for an estimate of White-winged Scoter, and 0.25 for an estimate of Black
Scoter based on proportional estimates for 1994–2003.
e
Total 1970s Goldeneye (Common and Barrow's) population estimate multiplied by 0.85 for Common
Goldeneye based on proportional estimate for 1994–2003; Barrow’s not presented.
25
f
Total 1970s Merganser (Hooded, Common, and Red-breasted) population estimate multiplied by 0.22
for an estimate of Hooded Merganser, 0.63 for an estimate of Common Merganser, and 0.15 for an
estimate of Red-breasted Merganser based on proportional estimate for 1994–2003.
Focal Species
Due to the large number of waterfowl species occurring in the JV region, a
smaller subset of “JV focal species” was chosen for emphasis in this conservation
strategy. Four species were selected for habitat planning and population monitoring
during the breeding season, and seven species were selected for population monitoring
during non-breeding periods (Table 7). Habitat objectives for migration and wintering
birds were based on energy requirements for all waterfowl using the region, but species
were grouped into assemblages or guilds with similar feeding habitat requirements (Root
1967) to develop migration and wintering habitat objectives.
Table7. Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region waterfowl focal species selected for
habitat planning and monitoring.
Breeding habitat
Non-breeding habitat
Wood Duck
Tundra Swan
American Black Duck
Wood Duck
Mallard
American Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Canvasback
Lesser Scaup
The use of focal species is a conservation assessment “shortcut,” reducing the
number of models required for developing habitat objectives for a full suite of species. In
effect, a single JV focal species was selected to represent a general cover type used by
multiple species of waterfowl for breeding. Likewise, monitoring results based on
breeding and migrating/wintering JV focal species are assumed to reflect the suite of
species they represent. However, the assumption that other species will respond similarly
to habitat protection, restoration, and management must be evaluated.
The criteria for selecting breeding JV focal species included 1) stable or declining
population, 2) high importance of the JV region to the continental population, 3)
representative of a primary cover type (e.g., Mallard and hemi-marsh), 4) some
understanding of factors limiting the population, and 5) potential to monitor populations.
Non-breeding season focal species were selected based on 1) regional importance
(significance of JV region to species), 2) representative of a primary cover type, 3) ability
to identify and manage for a habitat-limiting factor, 4) potential for monitoring, and or 5)
migration chronology. Using species guilds allowed calculation of energy requirements
for all migrating and wintering waterfowl in primary cover types used by these species.
The Mallard was selected as a key breeding focal species because of its relative
abundance, wide distribution and availability of ecological information, including
recently completed research on Great Lakes Mallards. In addition, the Mallard is
26
unmatched in recreational importance and regional stakeholder interest. Populations of
Blue-winged Teal, American Black Duck, and Wood Duck depend on the JV region to
varying degrees. Characteristics of nesting and brood-rearing habitat are largely unique
for these three species. Breeding Mallards, on the other hand, are more general in their
needs and may be accommodated by breeding habitat for other waterfowl. Because
breeding Black Duck distribution in the JV region is becoming increasingly limited, the
Ring-necked Duck was identified as a potentially viable substitute if limiting factor(s)
and adequate monitoring can be established. The Ring-necked Duck has a similar range
in the JV region, inhabits northern wetlands, and is more abundant than the Black Duck.
Ring-necked Ducks appear to be declining within the primary breeding range of the JV
region (C. Roy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, unpublished data) despite
increases in populations elsewhere in their range.
Mallard, Black Duck, Blue-wing Teal, and Wood Duck have different habitat
requirements and varied diets during migration and winter. Because of their importance
and distribution during migration staging, they also were the logical dabbling duck focal
species for non-breeding habitat planning. Diets and nutritional needs of diving ducks
also are diverse, and food resources may be a critical factor limiting this group.
Canvasback (largely herbivores) and Lesser Scaup (largely carnivores) were selected as
non-breeding season diving duck focal species because of their extremes in diet
preference.
The JV region provides vital stopover locations for migrating Tundra Swans, also
selected as a JV focal species for the non-breeding period. Their primary use of
submerged aquatic vegetation in deep water marsh and their growing reliance on corn
stubble and winter wheat fields sets them apart from other focal species. Finally, several
populations of Canada Geese depend on the JV region (NAWMP 2004), but they do not
appear to be habitat limited during breeding (Giants) or migration (Southern James Bay,
Mississippi Valley Population, and Eastern Prairie Population). These birds are managed
via harvest strategies developed by the Mississippi Flyway Council in population-specific
management plans. However, conservation efforts targeted at JV focal species will
provide habitat values for Canada Geese occurring in the region.
Biological Models
Biological models that combine digital spatial data of land cover and population
surveys can be used to target conservation as well as translate population objectives into
habitat objectives. However, waterfowl behavior and habitat requirements change with
the seasons and birds may use different areas for courtship, nesting, brood rearing, postbreeding molt, migration staging, and wintering. Moreover, availability of suitable
wetlands will vary seasonally and among years depending on past and current wetland
water budgets. Thus, habitat models for waterfowl vary among species as well as within
spatial and temporal scales.
Preliminary spatially-explicit habitat models have been developed for breeding JV
focal species (Appendix A) and non-breeding guilds (Appendix B) to guide regional
27
waterfowl planning. Limited population information and lack of high resolution digital
cover-type data hampered development of more rigorous models. Much of our waterfowl
knowledge is based on dabbling ducks, particularly the Mallard. We assumed other
upland-nesting ducks would respond similarly to environmental and ecological
conditions that impact Mallard vital rates unless additional information was available.
Likewise, length of stay for most species during migration and winter is largely
unknown, thus use-day and non-breeding habitat objectives were based on several
assumptions. Use day estimates were generated using predicted numbers of each species
occurring in the region multiplied by their estimated duration of stay during non-breeding
periods (Appendix G). We attempted to enhance assumption validity with available
literature and survey data.
Waterfowl habitat has been characterized at the nest site, wetland,
wetland/grassland complex, upland, and landscape levels. Considering the resolution of
available spatial data for the region, waterfowl may best be categorized for planning by
guilds and their preference for various wetland and open-water communities during the
breeding and non-breeding seasons. Although some species have more specific habitat
requirements than others, a general landscape design can be formulated to accommodate
waterfowl groups. Using the information available, we divided waterfowl into general
community or cover types most used during the breeding and migration/winter seasons
(Table 8). More specific characteristics of quality habitat and preferred landscapes have
been described in breeding focal species and non-breeding guild accounts (Appendix A
and B).
Table 8. General wetland communitya preferences for breeding and non-breeding waterfowl occurring in
the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. Names in bold are JV focal
species emphasized in planning and monitoring; some focal species occur in multiple community
categories but only the most commonly used cover type was identified.
Wet meadow with Wet mudflat / moistopen water
soil plants
Shallow semipermanent marsh,
hemi-marsh
Deep water marsh
Marsh with
associated shrub /
forest
Extensive open water
Breeding season
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Mallard
Canada Goose
Gadwall
Green-winged Teal
Black Duck
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Wood Duck
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Migration and wintering season
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Black Duck
Mallard
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Tundra Swan
Snow/Ross’ Goose
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Canvasback
Lesser Scaup
Redhead
Greater Scaup
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
a
Wet meadow with open water = seasonal wetlands with herbaceous vegetation mixed with pockets of
semi-permanent shallow open water. Wet mudflat / moist-soil plants = non-forested wetland with dynamic
hydrology and areas of exposed mudflat; summer growth of annual seed-producing plants (moist-soil
species) is typically flooded in fall and spring. Shallow semi-permanent marsh, hemi-marsh = marsh <1 m
28
deep with herbaceous cover and persistent standing water most years; typically a mosaic of emergent
vegetation and open water. Deep water marsh = open water 0.5–1.5 m deep mixed with areas and borders
of emergent vegetation; submergent vegetation common in openings. Marsh with associated shrub/forest =
mixed emergent marsh and open water with nearby shrub or forest; typically marsh and woody cover is
<0.1 km apart; often a riparian system. Extensive open water = open water areas of the Great Lakes, large
rivers, and inland lakes with water depth 1–9 m.
Great Lakes Mallard Models
Great Lakes Mallard Models have been recently developed for female Mallard
populations in the northern portion of the JV region and southern Ontario (Hoekman et
al. 2006, Coluccy et al. 2008). These models identified vital rates with high potential to
influence population growth (λ).” They also provided insight into how variation in
specific vital rates may contribute to variation in λ. Model results derived from study
areas in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin suggest vital rates associated with the
breeding season accounted for 63% of variation in λ while survival of females outside the
breeding season accounted for 37% of the variation. Vital rates explaining the greatest
amount of total variation during the breeding season were duckling survival (28%) and
nest success (17%), followed by renesting intensity (9%) and breeding incidence (5%).
In contrast, models developed for Mallards in agricultural areas of southern Ontario
suggested that population growth was most sensitive to changes in nest survival, followed
by non-breeding survival, adult breeding survival, and duckling survival (Hoekman et al.
2006).
Although some results of these two Great Lakes Mallard studies conflict, habitat
work aimed at the breeding season should result in the greatest gains in λ and ultimately
the size of the Mallard breeding population. More specifically, conservation efforts that
improve duckling survival should receive primary emphasis and those that improve nest
success should generally receive secondary emphasis. In areas with expansive crop
coverage and abundant wetlands suitable for brood rearing, this order may be reversed.
Furthermore, there is a need to better understand factors that influence non-breeding
season survival considering it collectively accounts for significant variation in λ.
Studies estimating and interpreting contribution of vital rates to Mallard
population growth (i.e., sensitivities) have assumed no co-variation among vital rates and
that population growth is density independent. However, Mallard nest success and
duckling survival may covary (e.g., Pearse and Lester 2007) and there is evidence
supporting density dependent recruitment in mid-continent and eastern Mallards
(USFWS 2007b). Further, estimates of “process” variation have been generated over
relatively short (i.e., <5 years) time frames; if Mallard vital rates vary with respect to
environmental conditions over longer periods (e.g., regional wetland hydrologic
conditions), then short-term studies may miss dynamics important in understanding
population response to habitat conservation efforts. Although much is known about
Mallard population dynamics, efficiency of future habitat conservation efforts may be
improved with additional long-term study.
29
Relationships between duckling survival rates and landscape features in the Great
Lakes region suggest Mallard duckling survival is positively related to the proportion of
wetland area classified as vegetated and negatively related to the proportion of forest
cover within brood rearing areas (Simpson et al. 2007). Conservation efforts aimed at
increasing Mallard duckling survival should focus on restoring and maintaining wetlands
with mosaics of emergent vegetation and open water in sparsely forested areas.
Parameter estimates from duckling survival and nest success models have been
incorporated within a Great Lakes Mallard Model using a Geographic Information
System (Ducks Unlimited Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office, unpublished data). The
model was developed to 1) prioritize areas within the region for protection, and 2)
develop landscape-specific restoration and management prescriptions. This model can
also be used to predict current Mallard λ based on existing landscape condition, to
identify population “source” (λ > 1) and “sink” (λ < 1) areas, and to recommend habitat
treatments to increase λ (see http://glaro.ducks.org/HEN/glhen.htm). Although the model
is based on a single species, it can be expanded to include other breeding areas and
species within the JV region once reliable input data are available.
Habitat Goal and Objectives
The goal of this strategy is to “establish efficient habitat conservation to
maintain or increase carrying capacity for priority waterfowl species consistent with
continental and JV regional population objectives.” Habitat objectives are linked to
desired populations for breeding JV focal species and non-breeding guilds (Appendix A
and B). This approach was necessary to target limited partner resources in strategy
development, and to generate measurable objectives, thus setting the stage for
performance measurement, evaluation, and adaptive management. Habitat objectives
generated for JV focal species and migration guilds are assumed to reflect and
accommodate the needs of all waterfowl commonly using the region. However,
continued refinement of this strategy is planned with periodic adjustment of habitat
objectives as new biological and environmental information is integrated into our modelbased decision process.
JV partners will employ an array of habitat conservation tools, including
protection, restoration, and enhancement in working to achieve strategy goals. An
increasing emphasis in selecting from various management options is the duration of
benefits. Limited availability of funding has forced JV partners to take a more businesslike approach to conservation, evaluating cost relative to the expected long-term return on
investment. A primary interest in this planning effort is to identify target areas and
landscape prescriptions that provide high long-term benefit for waterfowl populations at
relatively low cost. Actual land values and other economic factors will be incorporated
into future iterations of the strategy to help increase benefit/cost recommendations.
“Maintenance and protection” (e.g., acquisition and conservation easement)
includes actions that seek to maintain existing habitat features and sustainable
ecosystems, although plant and wildlife communities may be dynamic over time.
30
“Restoration and enhancement” includes actions that return habitat features that have
been lost or degraded, and occasionally creating new waterfowl habitats that serve as
ecological equivalents to lost habitat. “Intensive management” is a type of enhancement
but generally requires annual efforts to reach a desired habitat condition (i.e., the system
is not self-sustaining, such as a flooded moist-soil management unit). These actions
improve habitat conditions for waterfowl beyond what would occur in the absence of
management and are most often suited to areas of the JV region where remaining natural
waterfowl habitat is limited.
Habitat protection objectives reflect the needs of current breeding and nonbreeding populations, whereas restoration and enhancement objectives were generated
based on population deficits (Table 4 and 6). Breeding habitat targets were established
using models with perceived limiting factors (Appendix A), the missing landscape
features preventing population growth. Migration and wintering habitat objectives were
developed using a bioenergetics model (Appendix B) based on the assumption food
energy (i.e., lipids, carbohydrates, and protein) is the primary factor limiting waterfowl
populations during the non-breeding period. Objectives for both breeding and nonbreeding are provided at the JV regional, BCR, State, and State×BCR area (polygon)
scales. Breeding habitat objectives were based on current population estimates for these
units. Non-breeding objectives (Appendix B)are stepped-down from continental
population estimates via area proportioning using two approaches: 1) Habitat objectives
calculated for populations using each BCR for migration-staging were subdivided by
state area into State×BCR polygons, and 2) wintering habitat objectives, which were
calculated for each state, were subdivided by BCR into State×BCR polygons.
Calculated Non-breeding Objectives
The model used to calculate non-breeding habitat objectives consisted of three
components: a regional population goal for each species, energy demand per individual,
and energy supply per unit area.
Non-breeding population goal. Desired regional populations of species commonly using
individual cover types during migration and winter were converted to use-day goals for
these groups (Appendix B). We assumed food availability in fall was not a limitation,
and non-breeding use day estimates were calculated for spring and winter only. The
cover type of greatest importance, based on a need for nearly 390 million waterfowl use
days, was shallow marsh (Table 9), followed by extensive open water (297 million).
Moist-soil plant (91 million) and deep marsh (45 million) were also important to ducks
and swans. Canada Goose use is substantial during the non-breeding season, with an
estimated 392 million use days (Giants = 270 million, Interiors = 122 million). However,
migrating and wintering geese largely use agricultural landscapes to feed and deep marsh
and open water to roost. Geese were not considered habitat limited and we assumed they
will be accommodated by habitat provided for other species.
31
Table 9. Spring migration and winter use-day goals (current needs + deficit needs) for species commonly
occurring in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. Numbers are based on
continental population estimates (average for 1994–2003, NAWMP 2004) and estimates of the duration of
stay in the JV region during each season (Appendix G).
Use days
Guild/foraging habitat
Species
Spring
Winter
Total
Wet mudflat / moist soil plants
Blue-winged Teal
41,625,029
0
41,625,029
Northern Shoveler
7,633,091
0
7,633,091
Northern Pintail
19,686,675
0
19,686,675
Green-winged Teal
21,939,032
0
21,939,032
Total
90,883,827
0
90,883,827
Shallow semi-permanent marsh
Wood Duck
38,083,080
10,476,180
48,559,260
Gadwall
11,137,685
0
11,137,685
American Wigeon
12,658,056
0
12,658,056
American Black Duck
10,455,602
9,585,437
20,041,039
Mallard
129,691,043
167,383,620
297,074,663
Total
202,025,466
187,445,237
389,470,703
Deep water marsh
Mute Swan
954,000
484,200
1,438,200
Trumpeter Swan
216,000
175,410
391,410
Tundra Swan
1,000,000
0
1,000,000
Ring-necked Duck
19,336,412
4,221,450
23,557,862
Hooded Merganser
6,125,873
6,150,870
12,276,743
Ruddy Duck
6,437,548
274,050
6,711,598
Total
34,069,833
11,305,980
45,375,813
Extensive open water
Canvasback
7,443,585
11,702,970
19,146,555
Redhead
12,849,990
7,121,070
19,971,060
Greater Scaup
14,301,019
3,996,135
18,297,154
Lesser Scaup
60,578,203
23,400,009
83,978,212
White-winged Scoter
3,374,657
12,004
3,386,661
Black Scoter
3,001,785
7,875
3,009,660
Long-tailed Duck
8,193,905
16,597,629
24,791,534
Bufflehead
20,298,053
8,673,210
28,971,263
Common Goldeneye
21,296,386
37,316,160
58,612,546
Common Merganser
12,453,643
17,614,080
30,067,723
Red-breasted Merganser
2,174,109
4,193,820
6,367,929
Total
165,965,335
130,634,962
296,600,297
All cover types
Total
495,458,161
329,398,150
824,856,311
Non-breeding daily energy requirements (DER) / individual. Energy requirements of
waterfowl staging during migration and wintering in the JV region were estimated (Table
10) using body mass and an allometric equation to calculate resting metabolic rate (RMR,
Miller and Eadie 2006). Male birds are slightly heavier than females, so male weights
were used in the calculation. Winter energy needs were assumed to be similar to those
for migration staging and non-breeding period DER was calculated by multiplying RMR
by a factor of three (Prince 1979).
32
Table 10. Body mass, estimated resting metabolic rate (RMR), and daily energy requirement (DER) for
waterfowl commonly occurring in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes region during migration
and winter.
Species
Body mass (kg)a
RMR (kJ/day)b
DER (kJ)c
Mute Swan
11.36
2,549
7,646
Trumpeter Swan
12.68
2,765
8,294
Tundra Swan
7.26
1,831
5,492
Wood Duck
0.68
317
952
Gadwall
0.97
413
1,238
American Widgeon
0.82
364
1,093
American Black Duck
1.25
498
1,493
Mallard
1.25
498
1,493
Blue-winged Teal
0.46
238
713
Northern Shoveler
0.68
317
952
Northern Pintail
1.03
431
1,294
Green-winged Teal
0.32
182
545
Canvasback
1.25
499
1,496
Redhead
1.11
455
1,366
Ring-necked Duck
0.74
338
1,013
Greater Scaup
1.05
439
1,316
Lesser Scaup
0.83
366
1,099
Surf Scoter
1.00
422
1,266
White-winged Scoter
1.59
594
1,783
Black Scoter
1.14
463
1,390
Long-tailed Duck
0.95
407
1,222
Bufflehead
0.48
245
735
Common Goldeneye
1.08
445
1,336
Hooded Merganser
0.73
334
1,003
Common Merganser
1.65
611
1,834
Red-breasted Merganser
0.71
327
981
Ruddy Duck
0.54
269
808
a
Body mass (kg) based on adult males (Bellrose 1980).
b
RMR = 422*W0.74 where W is body mass in kg (Miller and Eadie 2006). One kiloJoule (kJ) = 0.24
kilocalories (kcal) or 4.18 kJ / kcal.
c
DER = RMR*3 (Prince 1979).
Energy available per unit area (kJ/ha). Estimates of plant tubers, submerged aquatic
plants, moist soil plant seeds, aquatic invertebrates, and waste grain availability during
migration are not well documented for the JV region, especially during spring migration.
Information for the few studies providing food values in various wetland types were
pooled to generate estimates of accessible energy (Table 11). An estimated 12 kJ/g was
used for an average true metabolizable energy (TME) of available foods (Miller 1987,
Kaminski et al. 2003).
33
Table 11. Estimates of energy (kJ/ha) available in general community types used by waterfowl for
migration-staging and wintering in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes region. Dates of energy
sampling were variable for each source and may not reflect available energy in winter and spring. Bold
numbers are average energy values for community types x 0.5, assuming 50% of available food is
accessible (declining food density results in reduced foraging efficiency and site use)a.
Shallow semiWet mudflat / permanent
Marsh with
moist soil
marsh, hemi Deep-water associated Extensive
Source
marsh
marsh
plants
shrub/ forest open water
4,393,200
5,020,800
Kenow et al. (unpublished)
3,012,480
5,020,800 4,644,240
1,004,160
104,600
Heitmeyer (1989)
14,091,712
1,016,712
Reinecke and Kaminski (unpublished) 7,531,200
Steckel (2003)
4,008,272
928,848
Korschgen et al. (1988)
449,361
4,493,616
Bowyer et al. (2005)
9,916,080
Stafford et al. (2007)
9,865,872
Average
7,258,642
1,970,664
2,735,081 2,830,476 3,206,339
Total energy available
3,629,321
985,332
1,367,540 1,415,238 1,603,169
a
Multiple numbers/study reflect >1 (but similar) wetland type sampled. True metabolizable energy (kJ)
was calculated by multiplying food weight (g) by 12.55 (for kJ/g). Values for waste-grain fields were also
provided by Reinecke and Kaminski (753,120 kJ/ha for soybeans and 1,691,172 kJ/ha for corn).
Maintenance and Protection
Waterfowl habitat maintenance (protection of values) objectives were identified
by state and BCR based on habitat requirements of current populations using the JV
region. Wet meadow and shallow semi-permanent marsh have the greatest area
requirements for breeding and recommended conservation is focused in the northern
State×BCR polygons (Table 12). Shallow marsh and extensive open water (with high
enough quality for preferred aquatic plants and invertebrates) account for the greatest
area conservation needs for non-breeding waterfowl, and these efforts are required
predominantly in the middle and southern portions of the JV region. Breeding and nonbreeding objectives for shallow marsh may be achieved at the same locations when
wetlands provide values during multiple seasons. Habitat protection can most effectively
be targeted using maps generated from models that predict current distribution of birds
and habitat across the region (Figure 5). More specific habitat requirements and locations
to target habitat protection are found in species and guild accounts (Appendix A and B).
A portion of the habitat area required to accommodate current waterfowl
populations is already protected through ownership by government agencies or nongovernment conservation organizations. In the future, a digital GIS layer of all
conservation lands with perpetual protection in the JV region will be developed. Armed
with this information, we can overlay ownership patterns with priority bird conservation
lands, determine the actual proportion currently protected, and develop a prioritized
strategy for acquisition and conservation easements. Likewise, parcels adjacent to
existing conservation lands may be weighted for higher protection priority in an effort to
expand wildlife habitat complexes. Managers must strive to maintain habitat quality
through various management techniques when there is adequate return on investment;
approaches to maintenance and protection will vary by area.
34
Table 12. Waterfowl habitat maintenance and protection objectives (ha) by state and Bird Conservation
Regions (BCR) to meet carrying capacity for breeding (B) and migration/wintering (N) season population
goals in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. Distribution of protection
effort based on JV focal species BCR population estimates (B), harvest distribution and Mid-winter
Inventory
A) Data (N), and habitat models (see Appendix A and B). Objectives are presented in hectares (1 ha
= 2.47 acres).
Wet
Shallow semiMarsh with
meadow Wet mudflat
with open / moist soil permanent marsh, Deep water associated Extensive
Statea
BCR
marsh shrub/forest open water
plants
hemi-marsh
water
Season
B
N
B
N
N
B
N
Iowa
22
17,498
1,752
18,945
38,328
1,213
10,808
5,679
23
235
238
1,401
4,563
580
424
1,505
Total
17,733
1,990
20,347
42,891
1,793
11,233
7,184
Illinois
22
6,296
2,007
27,983
75,204
2,684
11,319
23,021
23
84
111
1,505
2,891
305
332
1,148
24
343
99
1,247
10,717
318
2,334
2,980
Total
6,723
2,218
30,735
88,811
3,307
13,985
27,150
Indiana
22
3,255
726
21,331
15,809
542
5,324
2,211
23
1,575
434
10,180
7,891
1,063
2,665
2,666
24
176
185
4,893
11,320
264
3,708
856
Total
5,005
1,345
36,403
35,020
1,870
11,697
5,732
Kansas
22 / Total 1,940
1,071
2,543
35,443
1,913
4,295
4,917
Michigan 12
4,371
570
60,424
19,917
6,004
15,760
27,184
22
0
67
2,326
1,267
137
588
817
23
3,671
1,937
77,056
32,387
5,972
12,939
20,566
Total
8,042
2,575
139,806 53,571
12,113
29,287
48,567
Minnesota 12
39,215
538
78,542
16,884
4,259
18,186
13,418
22
3,691
126
5,475
2,180
122
1,786
371
23
114,956
859
43,700
13,750
2,201
14,608
5,239
Total
157,862
1,523
127,717 32,814
6,582
34,579
19,028
Missouri 22 / Total
205
1,344
3,422
79,980
2,288
6,816
6,524
Nebraska 22 / Total 5,361
360
3,286
59,320
870
3,465
3,215
Ohio
13
4
239
10,841
13,324
2,079
1,198
10,221
22
0
850
20,735
25,194
1,222
4,590
10,384
24
0
0
209
457
24
87
282
28
0
31
4,326
11,146
477
1,224
5,212
Total
4
1,121
36,111
50,121
3,802
7,099
26,099
Wisconsin 12
20,822
302
25,486
10,733
2,283
7,297
14,108
22
859
24
1,622
458
20
410
281
23
182,569
3,212
108,723 54,082
8,008
22,911
33,479
Total
204,250
3,538
135,831 65,273
10,312
30,619
47,867
All States 12
64,408
1,410
164,452 47,534
12,546
41,243
54,709
13
4
239
10,841
13,324
2,079
1,198
10,221
22
39,104
8,329
107,667 333,195
11,011
49,402
57,422
23
303,090
6,793
242,566 115,574
18,132
53,879
64,606
24
519
284
6,349
22,494
607
6,129
4,118
28
0
31
4,326
11,146
477
1,224
5,212
Total
407,125
17,086
536,200 543,267
44,851
153,075
196,289
a
Habitat objectives are for only JV portions of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
35
Figure 5. Areas of greatest importance to protect for A) breeding and B) non-breeding waterfowl in the
Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region. Protection value for breeding waterfowl
was based on combined habitat suitability scores and abundances of JV focal species (Mallard, Bluewinged Teal, American Black Duck, and Wood Duck). Protection value for non-breeding waterfowl (all
common species) was based on county level harvest distribution and emergent wetland and open water
availability.
36
Restoration and Enhancement
Restoration and enhancement objectives for each community type were based on
regional waterfowl population deficits (Table 4 and 6) and associated habitat models. We
assumed the most effective means to increase a population was to restore the missing
habitat required to accommodate the number of individuals represented by the deficit.
Generally this is measured in quantity or quality of a wetland type or wetland-upland
complex. Restoration implies working in human-altered areas (e.g., agricultural fields),
frequently converting an annual cover type to a perennial native-plant wetland or upland
community which is optimal for the target bird species. Management is generally more
economical when cover suited for the site is restored (i.e., consider pre-settlement
vegetation, current surrounding cover, and critical/irreversible adjustments to landscape
hydrology). Likewise, enhancement work must consider landscape capabilities. Properly
located enhancement efforts that set back succession, suppress invasive plants, and
provide a missing element to an otherwise suitable landscape typically results in the
greatest return on investment. Landscape scale upland restoration and enhancement may
be keys in restoring water quality and food resources to degraded river and wetland
systems in the central and southern portions of the JV region.
Similar to protection emphasis, shallow semi-permanent marsh and wet meadow
with open water were the communities with greatest restoration need, followed by marsh
with associated shrub/forest (Table 13). Breeding and non-breeding objectives for
shallow semi-permanent marsh may be achieved at the same locations when wetlands
provide values during multiple seasons. The extensive open water objective should focus
on restoration of water quality and food resources traditionally and potentially important
for diving ducks, increasing regional carrying capacity to goal levels for this group.
General locations to target habitat actions have been identified across the region (Figure
6). Specific habitat requirements for priority birds can be found in JV focal species and
guild accounts (Appendix A and B).
37
Table 13. Waterfowl habitat restoration/enhancement objectives (ha) by state and Bird Conservation
Regions (BCR) to meet carrying capacity goal for breeding (B) and migration/wintering (N) populations in
the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. Distribution of protection effort
based on JV focal species BCR population deficits (B), harvest distribution and Mid-winter Inventory Data
(N), and habitat models (see Appendix A and B). Objectives are presented in hectares (1 ha = 2.47 acres).
Wet
Wet
Shallow semiDeep
Marsh with
meadow mudflat /
water
associated Extensive
with open moist soil permanent marsh,
Statea
BCR
water
plants
hemi-marsh
marsh shrub/forest open water
Season
B
N
B
N
N
B
N
Iowa
22
3,500
365
3,789
400
0
2,162
1,158
23
47
41
280
85
0
85
314
Total
3,547
407
4,069
485
0
2,247
1,471
Illinois
22
1,259
419
5,597
860
0
2,264
1,399
23
17
19
301
51
0
66
148
24
69
20
249
272
0
467
93
Total
1,345
458
6,147
1,182
0
2,797
1,640
Indiana
22
651
152
4,266
374
0
1,065
484
23
315
75
2,036
217
0
533
571
24
35
38
979
558
0
742
157
Total
1,001
264
7,281
1,149
0
2,339
1,213
Kansas
22 / Total
388
223
509
254
0
859
789
Michigan 12
874
149
12,085
1,053
0
3,152
3,508
22
0
14
465
38
0
118
69
23
734
336
15,411
1,010
0
2,588
2,889
Total
1,608
498
27,961
2,101
0
5,857
6,466
Minnesota 12
7,843
140
15,708
547
0
3,637
2,803
22
738
26
1,095
29
0
357
81
23
22,991
149
8,740
306
0
2,922
1,120
Total
31,572
315
25,543
882
0
6,916
4,003
Missouri
22 / Total
41
280
684
340
0
1,363
953
Nebraska 22 / Total
1,072
75
657
114
0
693
254
Ohio
13
1
54
2,168
1,316
0
240
2,849
22
0
177
4,147
1,700
0
918
1,806
24
0
0
42
52
0
17
44
28
0
7
865
1,025
0
245
818
Total
1
239
7,222
4,092
0
1,420
5,516
Wisconsin 12
4,164
79
5,097
373
0
1,459
5,015
22
172
5
324
8
0
82
125
23
36,514
556
21,745
1,286
0
4,582
11,453
Total
40,850
640
27,166
1,666
0
6,124
16,594
All States 12
12,882
367
32,890
1,973
0
8,249
11,326
13
1
54
2,168
1,316
0
240
2,849
22
7,821
1,738
21,533
4,114
0
9,880
7,118
23
60,618
1,177
48,513
2,955
0
10,776
16,496
24
104
58
1,270
882
0
1,226
294
28
0
7
865
1,025
0
245
818
Total
81,425
3,401
107,240 12,266
0
30,615
38,901
a
Habitat objectives are for only JV portions of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
38
A)
B)
Figure 6. Potential habitat restoration and enhancement locations for A) breeding and B) non-breeding
waterfowl in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region. Value for breeding
waterfowl was based on current duck abundance and distribution and hydric soil availability (>50% hydric;
STATSGO 1991) in existing agricultural, grassland, and emergent wetland cover types (NLCD 2001).
Value for non-breeding waterfowl was based on county level harvest distribution and hydric soil
availability in existing agricultural, grassland, and emergent wetland cover types.
39
Uplands surrounding restoration sites and existing wetlands also should be taken
into consideration because many waterfowl species rely on uplands for nesting and
foraging. Furthermore, uplands with native plant communities retain or improve water
quality and create suitable landscape structure for many species of birds. Because habitat
enhancement for one species may result in loss of site value for other species, habitat
treatments must consider additional species potentially using a site. For example, sites
valuable to King Rails (Rallus elegans) should not be altered for the benefit of Mallards.
Species of concern from other bird groups can be found in JV bird-group strategies.
Potential for greatest net increase in waterfowl habitat exists in the agriculturally
dominated portion of the JV region where the majority of wetlands have been drained and
river systems degraded. “Wildlife-friendly” agriculture programs included in the U.S.
Farm Bill can significantly impact waterfowl in the region by preserving and restoring
wetlands and adjoining upland cover. Effective waterfowl conservation will require
collaboration with those implementing Federal agriculture programs. Waterfowl habitat
protection and restoration maps (Figures 5 and 6) should be used to help target Farm Bill
conservation efforts. County-level and site-specific planning will be enhanced with an
understanding of area soil characteristics, particularly the location and extent of hydric
soils (potential wetland restoration sites). These data are available for the entire JV
region through the U.S. Department of Agriculture at www.soils.usda.gov/survey.
Although the rate of wetland loss has slowed significantly in recent years, losses
still occur in the JV region (Ducks Unlimited 2005), particularly in areas dominated by
agriculture and human development. These proposed waterfowl habitat restoration and
enhancement objectives are “net area” estimates. In other words, any loss of existing
waterfowl habitat during the plan period must be added to plan restoration objectives.
Likewise, degradation of existing waterfowl habitat must be considered in the habitat
accounting process.
Monitoring and Research
Research and monitoring efforts in bird conservation are often linked or closely
related. In this strategy monitoring is designed and implemented to measure progress
toward meeting population goals and habitat objectives (i.e., performance measurement).
Alternatively, research is designed to answer specific questions that arise from
uncertainties or assumptions inherent in conservation planning and implementation.
Explicit monitoring and research objectives identified here were considered highest
priority for strategy achievement and to build knowledge for the next plan iteration.
Monitoring waterfowl populations and habitat is required to determine resource
status and trends, assess health of habitats, and evaluate whether management
prescriptions are affecting targeted species. Surveys that provide measures of
environmental or other landscape features believed to affect bird population status offer
an opportunity to test hypotheses about factors limiting populations. Even more useful
are surveys that are closely integrated with explicit management decisions, where
biological prediction and testing are used to learn about the effects of conservation
40
practices. Abundance surveys, as well as monitoring programs used to estimate vital
rates (e.g., survival and production surveys), can be used to assess habitat quality. When
coordinated with monitoring of natural and management-induced habitat changes, these
surveys can provide important insights into the mechanisms underlying changes in bird
demographics.
Of the four primary bird groups emphasized in JV planning, waterfowl have been
the most thoroughly inventoried at large spatial scales. Data from five coordinated
continental surveys of populations and habitat, and two regional and state-level surveys
were used to develop this strategy.
Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS). This assessment is the
primary tool used to measure spring waterfowl abundance and habitat conditions within
the most important breeding range of most duck species (USFWS 2007a). It is a
cooperative effort between the USFWS, Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS), and several
provincial and state agencies. Conducted since 1955 in the mid-continent Prairie and
Parklands, the survey expanded east to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan in 1968,
Figure 7. Location of aerial spring breeding waterfowl survey transects which are 400-m wide and vary
in length. Dots in Wisconsin and Minnesota represent center points for transects 48-km and 8–58 km
long, respectively. Michigan survey routes cross the whole state and dots represent 29-km long
segments within each transect. Northeast Minnesota was only surveyed during 1991–1993 as part of a
special American Black Duck assessment, and northwest Michigan was omitted from the survey after
1994 due to dangerous survey conditions in this area (mountainous region combined with high winds
near Lake Superior)
41
1973, and 1992, respectively (Figure 7). The Michigan and Wisconsin surveys provide
statewide population estimates for common breeding species, whereas the Minnesota
survey currently includes only 40% of the state where duck densities are highest. The
WBPHS counts waterfowl and wetlands from fixed-wing aircraft on standardized
transects, in April and May. Visibility correction factors are estimated using ground
counts or helicopter observations for a subset of survey segments and used to adjust aerial
counts for visibility bias by species. Wetland quantity and quality are estimated annually
in the WBPHS as a measure of breeding habitat condition in the mid-continent.
Wetlands also are counted in the Great Lakes states, but the value of “pond counts” to
measure habitat conditions is complicated in this more heterogeneous landscape.
North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). The BBS has been conducted each year
since 1966, primarily in June, following the completion of spring migration. The BBS is
a roadside survey conducted by wildlife professionals and volunteer birders. There are
631 routes within the JV region; routes are 40 km in length with 50 stops 0.8 km apart.
The BBS survey may not adequately represent aquatic birds. However, the BBS and
WBPHS reveal very similar population trends for waterfowl species common to the JV
region.
Coordinated Canvasback Survey. State wildlife agencies in the eastern U.S. and
professionals in the province of Ontario have participated in this survey since 1974. It is
a survey of major Canvasback staging areas conducted approximately 5 November each
year, prior to arrival of most birds on wintering areas. The survey provides information
that can be compared to breeding population estimates and mid-winter inventories to help
establish Canvasback population status. The survey includes aerial and ground counts of
all traditional fall staging areas in the JV region. However, the survey lacks a
standardized sampling design and may miss concentrations of birds staging at nontraditional sites.
Mid-winter Inventory (MWI). State agency and USFWS personnel have conducted the
MWI in some fashion since 1933, usually the first week in January. This survey provides
an index of waterfowl abundance and distribution at wintering areas based on estimates
of waterfowl made from air and ground counts. Each JV state participates in the MWI.
Because it lacks a formal sampling design and annual coverage is inconsistent, scientists
have criticized the survey but continue conducting it for fear of loosing a long-term data
set with valuable information. The MWI of Snow and Ross’ Geese is used to evaluate
and inform the Light-goose Conservation Order, and several states also use this protocol
for intrastate decision-making on harvest management issues.
Harvest and Band Recovery Analysis. Annual harvest surveys are completed by the
USFWS and by some individual states. The Federal harvest data can provide a crude
estimate of waterfowl distribution and abundance at the state and county level during fall,
assuming hunter harvest roughly reflects fall duck abundance. In addition, these harvest
data can be used to help determine the timing of fall migration for waterfowl species
moving through the JV region. Many states in the region participate in annual waterfowl
banding prior to or after the hunting season. Leg-band recovery data can be used to
estimate survival and harvest rates for selected waterfowl species. Moreover, band-
42
recovery analysis can be used to identify fall concentration areas and migration corridors.
Because of the way harvest/survival rates are estimated and considering annual shifts in
migration patterns by some species, multiple years of data are typically pooled to provide
a better reflection of distribution and abundance.
State Non-breeding Population Surveys. Several states have conducted population
surveys during the migration period, especially during fall. The longest duration survey
in the JV region has been conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) in
cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Initially completed by
car and boat in 1938, and then by air beginning in 1948, INHS survey crews inventory
waterfowl staging in the fall along the Illinois and middle Mississippi Rivers multiple
times each year. Periodic spring inventories of this region also have been completed.
The purpose of these aerial inventories was not to acquire complete counts but to estimate
the number of each species, with the goal of providing an index of temporal changes
within and among years and document the distribution of species throughout the
monitored areas (Havera 1999). Population surveys of migrant waterfowl in specific
areas of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri also have been conducted in recent decades;
this information can be used to examine abundance and distribution as well as timing of
migration through the JV region.
Regional Habitat Surveys. Less emphasis has been placed on direct monitoring of
waterfowl habitat in the JV region. Since completion of the 1998 JV Implementation
Plan, JV Board members have provided an annual report of major partner habitat
accomplishments in each state. Reporting has been segmented into wetland and upland
categories and grouped by protection, restoration, and enhancement. The area influenced
by JV partners since 1998 totals over 300,000 ha. Although partners have reported
accomplishments that contribute toward their stated focus area objectives (USFWS
1998), the measure remains coarse with general category definitions (“wetland” and
“upland”) and no rating of habitat quality. In addition, JV partners and staff recognize
the need to determine concomitant habitat loss in order to monitor “net change” in
waterfowl habitat over time.
Monitoring Needs and Responsibilities
The 2004 NAWMP calls for increased waterfowl monitoring and assessment
capabilities. Whereas broad-scale monitoring programs have been in place many years
for some species, basic abundance estimates are inadequate to establish population
objectives for half the species recognized by the national plan. In the JV region, breeding
duck surveys and density estimates are completed only in Michigan, Wisconsin, and 40%
of Minnesota. For some species we lack information to address fundamental biological
questions. Implementation of standardized, region-wide population surveys coupled with
updated and refined spatial data (e.g., revised National Wetland Inventory and National
Land Cover Data) will provide opportunities to develop geo-referenced resource
databases that can serve as the foundation for improved conservation planning tools in
the future.
43
Six general monitoring needs were identified in the NAWMP Implementation
Framework (NAWMP 2004:92–102). Each has relevance to the JV because of its
importance in improving the effectiveness of regional and continental waterfowl
conservation decisions.
Abundance. Expand, enhance, or revise survey(s) that provide the primary means of
tracking changes in waterfowl abundance to enable assessment of status and the
development of refined population objectives.
Vital Rates and Harvest Rates. Enhance efforts and improve methods to monitor
recruitment, survival, and harvest rates to better understand mechanisms causing changes
in abundance.
Coordinated Environmental Monitoring. Expand and integrate environmental
monitoring with surveys that estimate abundance and vital rates to test hypotheses
regarding factors limiting population growth, test assumptions underlying habitat
conservation objectives, and evaluate conservation actions.
Cross-scale Integration. Integrate and coordinate bird and environmental monitoring at
continental, regional, and local scales so that patterns of change in bird demographics or
habitat at one scale are informative of ecological processes responsible for patterns at
other scales.
Data Management and Accessibility. Improve data management and retrieval protocols
to provide conservation planners and researchers with rapid access to spatially-referenced
data on waterfowl demographics and habitat.
New Technologies. Implement new and emerging technologies to supplement traditional
monitoring databases and improve opportunities to learn about waterfowl responses to
environmental variation at multiple scales.
Suggested approaches for meeting North American waterfowl monitoring needs
have been described in the NAWMP (2004). Joint Ventures, the NAWMP Science
Support Team (NSST), and the primary Federal agencies responsible for migratory bird
conservation must lead this effort. It is the responsibility of JVs to work with the NSST
in development of a continental monitoring strategy to support waterfowl habitat
conservation. JVs also must specify hypotheses regarding the primary environmental
factors affecting waterfowl distribution and abundance and, in cooperation with the
NSST, describe regional and local-scale monitoring protocols required to evaluate
alternative hypotheses. Results will be used to refine habitat conservation objectives and
strategies. Furthermore, JVs should develop partnerships to fund regional monitoring
priorities and direct governmental appropriators in Canada, Mexico, and the United
States to continue funding migratory bird monitoring initiatives coordinated by Federal
agencies.
44
Monitoring Objectives
Although suggested monitoring needs and responsibilities may appear daunting,
waterfowl conservationists have some of the most extensive wildlife monitoring data
available. Several monitoring needs can be met by expansion and refinement of existing
survey initiatives, in addition to improved accessibility of these data for conservation
planning. JV science partners must lead in establishing and improving regional
monitoring strategies that complement and support continental efforts for waterfowl
habitat conservation. Therefore, monitoring objectives listed below must be completed in
a collaborative manner by JV staff, JV Technical Committee, NSST, State and Federal
agencies, non-government organizations, and associated conservation groups that make
up the JV partnership. Although target completion dates vary, greater efficiency may be
achieved if monitoring objectives are developed concurrently.
By 2010, a monitoring protocol will be developed to track spatial and temporal patterns
in distribution, abundance, and habitat for populations of priority breeding waterfowl
species. These largely include JV focal species, however the Ring-necked Duck also is a
priority as it may replace the Black Duck as the breeding focal species representing deep
water marsh.
Specifically, the protocol will include tracking:
1. Habitat characteristics that influence breeding waterfowl such as wetland
abundance, landscape composition, and quality (examples of quality concerns are
climate change, invasive species, human disturbance, and contaminants).
2. Vital rates most important to population sustainability.
3. Population size (CV 20%) and progress toward plan population objectives.
By 2012, a monitoring protocol will be developed to track populations of priority
migrating and wintering waterfowl species (JV focal species).
Specifically, the protocol will inventory:
1. Primary and secondary use areas.
2. Landscape characteristics that influence habitat quality.
3. Body condition related to nutrition and habitat quality.
4. Survival and harvest rates to better understand mechanisms causing changes in
abundance.
5. Population size (abundance and spatial requirements), timing, and duration of stay
(use days).
Research Needs
Wildlife management often requires professionals to make important decisions
with incomplete knowledge, and this involves making assumptions. There were many
assumptions associated with development of population and habitat objectives, especially
when developing biological models to help quantify habitat objectives for JV focal
species. Decision model parameters and associated assumptions are stated explicitly
45
(Appendix A and B) so they may be tested and adjusted when new information becomes
available.
Critical life requisites limiting bird populations are not well understood.
However, waterfowl scientists generally perceive that nutrition most influences physical
condition, which influences reproduction and survival via predation on hens, nests, and
broods. Annual recruitment to the fall flight is therefore the product of nutritionallybased reproduction and survival. Waterfowl habitat conservation has traditionally called
for maintaining, restoring, or improving the abundance and quality of wetlands and
associated uplands to augment the available habitat base. The dynamic nature of
migratory waterfowl and differences in species’ settling patterns (Johnson and Grier
1988) suggest there is value in continuing habitat conservation efforts even if unoccupied
habitat exists during a given year. Thus, we assumed priority waterfowl species were
limited by some aspect of habitat and that landscapes are the appropriate scale for
conservation planning.
A priority for this strategy was development of spatially-explicit habitat models to
guide regional waterfowl conservation (Appendix A and B). We used the best available
information to identify locations most suitable for breeding and non-breeding waterfowl
and to help target conservation delivery. Knowledge gaps hampered development of
more rigorous models, but completion of proposed monitoring and research initiatives
will result in an expanded species database for development of superior spatial planning
tools. Several specific research objectives also were identified during strategy
development to improve planning efficiency and effectiveness. They are listed below in
priority order and should emphasize JV focal species.
Research Objectives
By 2010, research will be underway to develop and refine models that predict how
populations of priority breeding waterfowl species (JV focal species) respond to habitat
change.
Specifically, research should address:
1. Identifying factors limiting breeding season vital rates (e.g., nest success,
duckling survival, etc.).
2. Understanding how vital rates influence population growth (via sensitivity
analyses).
3. Predicting distribution and abundance of priority waterfowl populations in
response to habitat conservation alternatives.
By 2012, research will be developed to inform bioenergetics models and to evaluate
habitat carrying capacity for populations of priority migrating and wintering waterfowl
(JV focal species). Research also must determine the effects of lower quantity/quality
habitat on survival or future production.
46
Specifically, research should address:
1. Retrospective analyses of carry capacity (e.g., water quality, food availability,
invasive species, wetland system functions and processes).
2. Prospective analyses that forecast expected carrying capacity in the face of
changing habitat conditions (e.g., climate change, wet vs. dry years, with/without
habitat programs, continued habitat loss, agricultural practices, etc.).
3. Relational analysis of habitat conditions and bird survival.
By 2012, research will be developed to understand migration corridors, movement
chronology, and human disturbance for migrating and wintering waterfowl to better
predict habitat needs and target conservation areas.
Specifically, research should address:
1. Optimum spatial arrangement of wetland types within and between migrating and
wintering habitat, including a) inter-wetland distances, and b) juxtaposition with
upland cover types such as cropland, urban areas, other human developments, and
permanent natural cover.
2. An understanding of how potential human-induced limiting factors (e.g.,
disturbance, water quality, pollutants, contaminants, and sedimentation) can be
most effectively and efficiently mitigated.
Measuring Performance
Measures of presence/absence, density, long-term population change and
demographics are required to assess performance of JV conservation actions. However,
the number of waterfowl occupying the region in any given year is not solely dependent
on habitat availability and condition within the region. For example, multiple years of
poor breeding habitat in the mid-continent prairie can result in fewer waterfowl staging
and wintering in the region even when habitat availability and condition may be above
average. Likewise, during years with poor wintering conditions south of the region,
fewer ducks may return to breed here or their reproductive potential may be depressed.
Thus, regional waterfowl population goals are best viewed as guidelines for defining
habitat objectives, and they may be an inappropriate short-term performance metric.
The JV has supported several research projects to increase knowledge of
waterfowl biology and ecology in the region; and we remain committed to improving
understanding of management and environmental influences on regional waterfowl
demographics. Activities of JV partners implementing this strategy are expected to
increase resources and landscape carrying capacity for waterfowl and, in turn, directly
and indirectly impact specific vital rates. Thus JV performance should be measured by
the net change in resources available for waterfowl within the region and impact those
changes have on vital rates. However, uncontrollable environmental factors must be
considered and accounted for when measuring performance.
47
Net Change in Resources
Resources for waterfowl within the JV region will be maintained by protecting
existing quality habitat and increased by restoring and enhancing habitat as prescribed.
Habitat conservation will be tracked by JV partners and JV staff, providing the estimated
area (by cover type) and general location of protected and restored habitat. Concurrent
habitat loss also must be estimated to determine net habitat change, and this measure is
one of the greatest challenges facing JVs. Remote sensing technology typically provides
the best means for landscape analysis. However, remotely identifying the quantity of
waterfowl habitat in a given year will continue to be a challenge due to 1) its dynamic
nature, 2) the ability of remote sensors to accurately depict various wetland types, 3) cost,
and 4) the infrequency of updates to key regional spatial data such as NWI and NLCD
(10–30 years between updates). Model-based analysis of habitat gains and losses may be
necessary to estimate landscape change beyond that reported by JV partners.
An increase in resource availability due to habitat enhancement will be even more
difficult to document and will require estimates of average productivity before and after
enhancement of wetlands and associated upland cover. Alternatively, a study is currently
under way to determine average productivity of wetlands during spring migration across
the region (T. Yerkes, Ducks Unlimited; M. Eichholz, Southern Illinois University; and
R. Gates, Ohio State University, personal communication). In addition, a project
comparing historical and contemporary wetland conditions in the Illinois River Valley
(Stafford et al. 2007) provides a useful approach to evaluate change in habitat quality
over time. Future research using similar techniques can provide an estimate of change in
habitat quality following substantial implementation activities.
Measuring performance for breeding waterfowl might include a comparison of
bird demographics between areas of variable JV conservation intensity. JV partners will
identify “high partner influence” vs. “low effort/no influence” (control) areas, and
population survey data can be used to evaluate bird response. Portions of the JV region
without spring aerial surveys may find BBS trend data useful as a coarse measure of
population change for some species in high vs. low influence areas.
Vital Rates as a Measure
The impact of JV activities on breeding waterfowl populations also may be
measured using vital rates, including nest success, brood survival, and recruitment. A
recently completed study by JV partners addressing vital rates of breeding Mallards (J.
Coluccy, Ducks Unlimited, unpublished data) provides baseline data for future
comparison. Likewise, a study measuring vital rates of Blue-winged Teal in Wisconsin
will be completed during 2006–2009 (R. Gatti, Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources, personal communication). These two data sets can be used as a baseline to
determine if implementation activities are increasing vital rates of ground-nesting ducks
within the JV region. Correlations between habitat and vital rates, or vital rates over
time, while informative, will require additional assessment as they may not be “cause and
effect” relationships. Positive correlations may suggest initial support for JV
48
management, but more specific analysis will be required to compare vital rates in selected
areas before and after management implementation.
When developing this strategy we assumed nutrient acquisition is the key factor
limiting waterfowl outside the breeding season. Nutrients acquired during spring
migration are used both for survival during migration and production on the breeding
grounds. If this assumption is correct, then comparisons between nutrient reserve
dynamics of migratory waterfowl before and after JV implementation activities should
indirectly test whether partners are having the desired impact (i.e., higher nutrient
reserves reflect greater reproductive success and survival). Obviously many
environmental factors (e.g., reserves acquired outside the JV, temperatures during winter
and migration, wind speed and wind direction during migration, wetland conditions
during winter and spring migration, etc.) will need to be accounted for in such an
assessment. A study by JV partners being conducted during 2006–2008 (M. Eichholz,
Southern Illinois University, personal communication) will provide baseline data for
comparison to future analysis of nutrient reserve dynamics.
Adaptive Management
Adaptive management implies different things to different people, often
depending on their background and the conservation arena which they work within (i.e.,
research, management, administration). The NAWMP (2004) uses “adaptive
management” in a broad and inclusive sense to mean the use of cyclic planning,
implementation, and evaluation to improve management performance. Adaptive
Resource Management (ARM) provides an explicit framework that ensures monitoring
data are relevant and useful in making management decisions. Moreover, it can (and
should) provide a means to improve future decision-making through an iterative cycle of
biological prediction and testing. In other words, JV partners must manage in the face of
uncertainty – with the goal of reducing it. ARM provides a system of management
actions and evaluations that refine goals, objectives, and strategies as we learn how birds
respond to those actions.
Although adaptive management does not need to be complex, it does require
discipline. Critical preconditions for successful ARM include stakeholder consensus
regarding objectives and a commitment to manage adaptively. ARM can increase JV
effectiveness and efficiency by improving capacity in all three iterative steps: planning,
implementation, and evaluation. Planning, at all levels, is based on a set of assumptions
often embodied in implicit or explicit models like those used in the waterfowl species and
guild accounts (Appendix A and B). These models predict how waterfowl should
respond to habitat changes and management actions. For example, implementation of
prescribed breeding habitat objectives should eliminate breeding population deficits,
which can subsequently be determined through monitoring.
Reliable monitoring is necessary to detect population change, thus adaptive
management may be difficult for some aspects of waterfowl conservation. Nonetheless,
we incorporate this element into the strategy’s biological foundation and expect
49
completion of research and monitoring objectives will result in valuable new data to
parameterize model values and decision tools. The challenges are many for sciencebased waterfowl conservation, but application of ARM concepts will be a priority in the
implementation and refinement of this strategy.
NSST Continental Integration
The NAWMP Science Support Team (NSST) was established to help strengthen
the biological foundation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and
facilitate continuous improvement of NAWMP conservation programs. Three primary
goals set by the NSST include:
1) To foster continuous improvement in the effectiveness of NAWMP actions through the
establishment of iterative cycles of planning, implementing and evaluating conservation
programs at both the continental and Joint Venture levels.
The key conceptual shift for the 2004 NAWMP is to view planning,
implementation, and evaluation as integral components of management. Accomplishing
this objective will require adoption of adaptive management at both the JV region and
continental levels. At the JV level, partners must establish management cycles that
assess the costs and benefits of various conservation techniques, test key planning
assumptions, and monitor progress toward attaining JV goals. The JV Technical
Committee will lead these efforts supported by advice and coordination from the NSST.
2) To conduct large-scale studies of landscape variation and waterfowl demography.
Relatively little assessment has been accomplished by NAWMP partners at scales
larger than JV focus areas or individual JV regions. Expanding evaluation to larger
scales will be an important step in strengthening the biological foundation of the
NAWMP, and this has been identified as a high priority for the NSST. Coordination of
JV monitoring and assessment activities, both within and among countries, will be
necessary to ensure a coherent, consistent approach to biological planning and evaluation,
and essential for analysis of waterfowl/habitat relationships at large spatial scales. Such
coordination will have the added benefit of facilitating idea sharing, experience, and
perhaps resources among JVs involved.
3) To report annually to the NAWMP Committee and partners on the status of the
biological foundations of the Plan, evaluating results and implications for future
conservation activities.
An important annual task of the NSST will be to report to the Plan Committee and
other NAWMP partners on the biological effectiveness of NAWMP activities. These
reviews will draw on both reports of progress by JVs and original and commissioned
research by the NSST. Other special analyses may be undertaken from time to time on
behalf of the NAWMP Committee. Conversely, the NSST will serve to elaborate and
reinforce any biological guidance from the NAWMP Committee to JVs.
50
Timetable and Coordination
This Waterfowl Habitat Conservation Strategy is part of a broad all-bird JV plan
scheduled to be implemented between 2007 and 2022. Although the general all-bird plan
has a 15-year time horizon, the four technical bird-group conservation strategies
(waterfowl, shorebirds, waterbirds, and landbirds) will be updated more frequently as part
of the plan-implement-evaluate cycle of adaptive management. Waterfowl habitat
objectives are stated explicitly by State and BCR units (Table 12 and 13) to provide JV
partners guidance in waterfowl management decisions. Strategy objectives, particularly
for non-breeding habitat, are directly linked to the NAWMP, which will be revised in
next few years. Moreover, several monitoring and research objectives identified when
developing this JV plan have a completion target of 2012. Thus, changes in the NAWMP
plus knowledge gained through JV management actions and evaluation will dictate the
intervals for refinement of this waterfowl habitat strategy.
Strategy development and refinement will continue to be the responsibility of the
JV Technical Committee. Plan approval and implementation remain the responsibility of
the JV Management Board and their associated conservation agency/organizations and
local partners. Information sharing, outreach, and tracking of accomplishments will be
coordinated through the JV Central Office (Minneapolis, MN) whereas GIS spatial data,
habitat model development, and collaboration with the research community will be the
responsibility of the JV Science Office (East Lansing, MI). JV partners have a proven
record of achievement following the 1998 JV Implementation Plan. Using the habitat
objectives, decision-support tools, and research and monitoring recommendations
provided in this strategy, partners will continue to increase conservation efficiency and
effectiveness for waterfowl as well as other bird groups.
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Appendix A. Breeding waterfowl species accounts with population and cover type
information used for habitat planning in the Upper Mississippi River and Great
Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region. JV focal species were used to develop habitat
conservation objectives and represent primary cover types. Population goals and
estimates are measured in individual birds. The equation below can be used to
calculate annual population change required to reach population goals over specific
time periods.
Species common name (account primary author)
Last revised
Wood Duck (Greg Soulliere and Charlotte Roy)
American Black Duck (Dave Luukkonen)
Mallard (John Coluccy)
Blue-winged Teal (Greg Soulliere)
August 2007
May 2006
August 2007
August 2007
Calculating Population Growth
FP = CP (1 + r)t
r = t√FP/CP – 1
FP = Future population (goal)
CP = Current population
r = rate of increase (growth / year)
t = time periods (years)
59
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Species Account for Habitat Planning
________________________________________________________________________
Joint Venture breeding population goal and deficit
based on regional surveys (2003–2007)
Breeding population goal
734,760
Population estimate
612,300
Deficit
122,460
Breeding habitat requirements
Community types: Woody, shrub-scrub, and
herbaceous wetland basins and rivers associated with
mature hardwood forest. Species nests in tree cavities
near rivers, streams, swamps, beaver ponds, and
marshes. Wetlands used for brood rearing quite
variable, but typically have some overhead cover.
Species range map: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Timing: Nesting begins by late March in the south
portion of the JV region and by late April in the north. First broods occur 45 days later,
and age at fledging is 56–70 days. Species readily re-nests after nest loss, and some nests
hatch as late as early August.
Area / distance: Nests in mature hardwood trees and is non-territorial. With tree
diameter (dbh) >25 cm, nest sites are <1 km from wetlands >0.5 ha is size and possessing
suitable brood-rearing cover. Some nest sites have been recorded >2 km from wetlands.
Limiting factors: Assumed to be forested wetlands, shrub-scrub wetlands, and emergent
marsh wetlands that maintain adequate water through the brood-rearing period.
Population monitoring
Current survey effort: N.A. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS); Spring Waterfowl Population
and Habitat Survey (WBPHS) conducted in Wisconsin, Michigan, and portions of
Minnesota; Mid-winter Waterfowl Inventory; annual harvest surveys; and leg-band
recovery analysis.
Recommended monitoring: Current methods for monitoring Wood Duck populations
provide largely trend information. Expanding the WBPHS to un-surveyed areas or
development of methods resulting in more accurate population estimates would be
beneficial to management.
Research to assist planning
Current and ongoing projects: A project predicting current and future availability of
natural cavities across the JV region and nest site proximity to brood-rearing habitat
(2006–2008, SIU).
Research needs: Methods to better monitor annual and regional population status; factors
affecting population growth including nest predation, duckling survival, and mortality;
habitat requirements during non-breeding portion of annual cycle; influence of wetland
hydrology on vital rates (e.g., brood survival); understanding the role of harvest in
population dynamics.
60
Biological model results
Objective: Maintain regional breeding carrying capacity and eliminate population deficit
through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is considerate of other species of
concern.
Breeding Calculation:
H = d/2 * c
30,615 = 122,460/2 * 0.5
H = minimum new breeding habitat area required to eliminate deficit (ha)
d = regional population deficit (birds)
c = minimum optimal habitat required for each pair (ha)
Optimal breeding habitat includes >0.5 ha hemi-marsh and or swamp (forested and
shrub-scrub wetlands) located <1 km from mature hardwood forest (nest cover). Few
brood wetlands exist in locations >1 km from mature forest in the JV region, thus the
hardwood nest-cover component was assumed to be adequate and the habitat deficit is for
wetland area only.
Recommendations
Habitat actions: Maintain (protect) existing habitat area and quality, and add (restore /
enhance) 30,615 ha of quality breeding habitat (see requirements above) at sites within
current or historic range (see distribution and landscape suitability maps for target areas).
The estimated area of quality habitat needed to accommodate current breeding
populations is 153,075 ha (153,075 = 612,300/2 * 0.5). Annual habitat loss must be
determined and factored into restoration objectives (i.e., there must be an overall net
increase in quality habitat of 30,615 ha).
Monitoring and performance: The WBPHS and BBS can be used to determine progress
toward meeting the population goal. Band recovery analysis also may provide a method
of determining population status. Periodic evaluation of vital rates can be used as a
measure of breeding habitat performance. Physical condition at migration staging areas
provides a measure of migration habitat quality. Eliminating the population deficit
requires a 20% increase or an average annual increase of 1% over a 15 year period.
References
Bellrose, F. C., and D. J. Holm. 1994. Ecology and management of the Wood Duck.
Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
Dugger, K. M., and L. H. Fredrickson. 1992. Life history and habitat needs of the Wood
Duck. Waterfowl Management Handbook. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish
and Wildlife Leaflet, 13.1.6 Washington, D.C., USA.
Hepp, G. R., and F. C. Bellrose. 1995. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). In The Birds of North
America, No. 169 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C., USA.
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. DOI, Fish and Wildlife
Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
NLCD. 2001. National Land Cover Data. http://www.mrlc.gov
61
Sauer, J. R., and S. Droege. 1990. Wood Duck population trends from the North
American Breeding Bird Survey. Pages 225–231 In L. H. Fredrickson, G. V.
Burger, S. P. Havera, D. A. Graber, R. E. Kirby, and T. S. Taylor, eds.
Proceedings of the 1988 North American Wood Duck Symposium, St. Louis,
Missouri, USA.
Breeding abundance and distribution: Based on interpolations of average density
estimates from the aerial Spring Waterfowl Population and Habitat Survey (north states,
1996–2005) and N.A. Breeding Bird Survey total counts (south states, 1996–2005).
Portions of the north JV region had only limited aerial-survey coverage some years.
62
Landscape suitability index (LSI) for breeding: LSI scores for cover types used by
breeding Wood Ducks, with scores closer to 100 representing greater suitability.
Cover typesa
LSI score
Woody and emergent herbaceous wetlands >10 ha and <0.5 km from
100
open water excluding the Great Lakes.
Woody and emergent herbaceous wetlands 0.5–10 ha and <0.5 km from
90
open water excluding the Great Lakes.
Other woody wetlands >10 ha.
70
Other woody wetlands 0.5–10 ha.
60
Other emergent herbaceous wetlands >10 ha.
40
Other emergent herbaceous wetlands 0.5–10 ha.
20
a
Cover types based on the National Land Cover Data (2001).
Conservation design
LSI scores were adjusted to reflect current (1996–2005) breeding abundance and
distribution. Scores were multiplied by the following importance values based on
breeding density: 1.0 (>3 birds / km2), 0.8 (1.5–3 / km2), 0.4 (0.5–1.5 / km2), and 0.1
(<0.5 / km2) to calculate a Conservation Value (CV). Scores of CV were averaged within
5 km × 5 km blocks for enhanced regional display.
63
American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)
Species Account for Habitat Planning
________________________________________________________________________
Joint Venture breeding population goal and deficit
based on regional surveys (2003–2007)
Breeding population goal
8,400
Population estimate
7,000
Deficit
1,400
Breeding habitat requirements
Community types: Uses most types and sizes of
herbaceous and wooded wetlands, especially beavercreated and modified wetlands, shallow lakes with
emergent vegetation, bogs in boreal forests, and
Species range map: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
swamps. Newly created or reflooded beaver
meadows, which are rich in invertebrates, are favored
for brood rearing. Species will often select nutrient rich patches within less productive
wetland complexes (mesotrophic and oligotrophic systems) where brood concentrations
and predation rates are lower, enhancing recruitment. Post-fledging birds often use
riverine systems.
Timing: Egg laying occurs in late March to June but most by early May, incubation
about 25 days, and fledging in 50–60 days. Species may re-nest after nest loss.
Area / distance: Assume wetlands >0.5 ha are preferred. Males defend territories until
their mates reach mid-incubation. Broods are generally well dispersed in wetland-forest
settings, but may congregate on sites with higher food density.
Limiting factors: There are five competing hypotheses to explain apparent declines:
breeding habitat limitation, winter/spring habitat limitation, excessive harvest,
competition with Mallards, and diseases and parasites. Recent model analysis did not
identify any single factor contributing to observed population declines nor did this
analysis indicate what management actions should be taken to stabilize or increase
numbers. The current assumption is population growth in the JV region is not limited by
breeding habitat, but may be limited by availability of coastal marsh and large (>10 ha)
marsh/open water complexes with abundant food resources in winter and during spring
migration.
Population monitoring
Current survey effort: Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS)
conducted in Michigan, Wisconsin, and portions of Minnesota; the Mid-winter
Waterfowl Inventory (MWI); and Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Recent analysis of MWI
and CBC data suggests declines observed on the MWI could be a result of redistribution
of birds north of the MWI survey area into Canada. Species appears to be wintering
farther north in recent years, however, wintering population in JV region has generally
declined, reflecting the long-term population decline in the western portion of the range.
The MWI has historically been the primary survey used to monitor abundance, however
it lacks an adequate sampling frame and visibility correction. Surveys across the
breeding range were initiated in 1990 by the Canadian Wildlife Service using a helicopter
64
plot survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via fixed-wing transects. Annual
harvest surveys and banding analysis also provide population information.
Recommended monitoring: The WBPHS does not adequately cover northern portions of
the JV region where this species occurs. This survey must be expanded and enhanced to
target breeding Black Ducks, at least periodically.
Research to assist planning
Current and ongoing projects: A migration and winter ecology study using satellite
transmitters will begin in winter 2007.
Research needs: Controversy remains regarding the effects of hunting and Mallard
interactions on population declines of this species. An understanding of population
influences (breeding and non-breeding seasons), migration timing and corridors, and food
resources is needed on the west side of the species range.
Biological model results
Objective: Maintain regional breeding carrying capacity and eliminate population deficit
through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is considerate of other species of
concern.
Breeding calculation: None; suitable breeding wetlands within species range are
abundant and relatively secure.
Recommendations
Habitat actions: Maintain (protect) existing breeding habitat area and quality at sites
within current or historic range (see distribution and landscape suitability maps for target
areas). Concentrate on improved habitat for migration-staging and wintering.
Monitoring and performance: Eliminating the current population deficit requires a 20%
population increase or an average annual increase of 1% over a 15 year period. Current
breeding and winter surveys within the JV region are inadequate to accurately measure
abundance. The WBPHS lacks precision needed to identify a 20% population change.
References
Conroy, M. J., M. W. Miller, and J. E. Hines. 2002. Identification and synthetic modeling
of factors affecting American Black Duck populations. Wildlife Monographs 150.
Link W. A., J. R. Sauer, and D. K. Niven. 2006. A hierarchical model for regional
analysis of population change using Christmas Bird Count data, with application
to the American Black Duck. Condor 108:13–24.
Longcore, J. R., D. G. McAuley, G. R. Hepp, and J. M. Rhymer. 2000. American Black
Duck (Anas rubripes). In The Birds of North America, No. 481 (A. Poole and F.
Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. DOI, Fish and Wildlife
Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
NLCD. 2001. National Land Cover Data. http://www.mrlc.gov
Seymour, N. R., and W. Jackson. 1996. Habitat-related variation in movements and
fledging success of American Black Duck broods in northeastern Nova Scotia.
Canadian Journal of Zoology 74:1158–1164.
65
Breeding abundance and distribution: Based on interpolations of average density
estimates from the aerial Spring Waterfowl Population and Habitat Survey (north states,
1996–2005) and N.A. Breeding Bird Survey total counts (south states, 1996–2005).
Portions of the north JV region had only limited aerial-survey coverage some years.
66
Landscape suitability index (LSI) for breeding: LSI scores for cover types used by
breeding Black Ducks, with scores closer to 100 representing greater suitability.
Cover typesa
LSI score
Palustrine and littoral emergent and forested and scrub-shrub
100
(deciduous) wetlands >5 ha.
Palustrine and littoral emergent and forested and scrub-shrub
90
(deciduous) wetlands 0.5–5 ha.
All riverine wetlands
70
Palustrine forested and scrub-shrub conifer wetland and lake/pond
50
aquatic bed and unconsolidated shore >5 ha.
Palustrine forested and scrub-shrub conifer wetland and lake/pond
40
aquatic bed and unconsolidated shore 0.5–5 ha.
Lake/pond unconsolidated bottom and lake/rocky shore >5 ha.
20
a
Cover types based on National Wetland Inventory and Wisconsin Wetland Inventory (1970s–80s) except
Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Outagamie, Adams, Juneau, Grant were based on National Land Cover
Data (2001).
Conservation design
LSI scores were adjusted to reflect current (1996–2005) breeding abundance and
distribution. Scores were multiplied by the following importance values based on
breeding density: 1.0 (>0.07 birds / km2), 0.5 (0.007–0.07 / km2), and 0.1 (<0.007 / km2)
to calculate a Conservation Value (CV). Scores for CV were averaged within 5 km × 5
km blocks for enhanced regional display.
67
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Species Account for Habitat Planning
________________________________________________________________________
Joint Venture breeding population goal and deficit
based on regional surveys (2003–2007)
Breeding population goal
1,286,880
Population estimate
1,072,400
Deficit
214,480
Breeding habitat requirements
Community types: Nests in a wide variety of dense
cover types and locations including grasslands,
hayfields, marshes, bogs, river floodplains, dikes,
roadside ditches, pastures, cropland, and shrubland.
Seasonal to permanent marsh wetlands are most often
Species range map: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
used for breeding and brood rearing, although lake
shorelines, river edges, forested wetlands, and beaver
ponds also may be used. Wetlands with a mosaic of herbaceous emergent plants and
open water (hemi-marshes) appear most suitable. Urban and suburban populations use
various nest sites and food sources associated with humans.
Timing: Egg laying occurs from late March to June, most first clutches are completed by
early May, incubation is about 28 days, and young fledge in 50–60 days. Species readily
re-nests after nest loss.
Area / distance: Territorial while paired, through early incubation. Pair-bonding
wetlands are 0.1 to 8 ha in size and defended against con-specifics; brood wetlands are
typically 0.5 to 12 ha in size (optimal hemi-marsh site is >1 ha). Nests are normally <200
m from water although they can be >1 km.
Limiting factors: Brood habitat appears to limit population growth in region. Preferred
brood cover includes marshes with a mosaic of open water and emergent vegetation such
as bulrush, arrowhead, cattail, grasses, and sedges.
Population monitoring
Current survey effort: N.A. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS); Waterfowl Breeding
Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS) conducted in Wisconsin, Michigan, and
portions of Minnesota; Mid-winter Waterfowl Inventory; Christmas Bird Count; annual
harvest surveys; and leg-band recovery analysis.
Recommended monitoring: Most breeding Mallards in the JV region nest in MN, MI,
and WI, but WBPHS should be expanded to include breeding range in Illinois, Ohio,
Indiana, and Iowa, resulting in improved regional population estimates.
Research to assist planning
Current and ongoing projects: A study is being conducted across the JV region to
examine duck use of wetland types, food availability and selection, and habitat quality
during spring migration (2005–2008; DU, OSU, SIU); results should aid significantly in
waterfowl habitat conservation planning.
68
Research needs: Develop bioenergetic models and supporting data to determine amount
of foraging habitat required to meet JV population objectives during spring and fall
migration periods. Update critical spatial data (i.e., National Wetland Inventory and
National Land Cover Data) to more accurately inventory potential habitat distribution and
abundance.
Biological model results
Objective: Maintain regional breeding carrying capacity and eliminate population deficit
through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is considerate of other species of
concern.
H = d/2 * c
107,240 = 214,480/2 * 1
H = minimum new breeding habitat area required to eliminate deficit (ha)
d = regional population deficit (birds)
c = minimum optimal habitat required for each pair (ha)
Optimal habitat includes a complex of shallow semi-permanent herbaceous wetlands and
grasslands, with >1 ha hemi-marsh wetlands in close proximity to herbaceous nest cover.
Quality brood wetlands appear to be the most critical element (vs. nest cover) and the
habitat area above is for hemi marsh wetland area only.
Recommendations
Habitat actions: Maintain (protect) existing habitat area and quality, and add (restore /
enhance) 107,240 ha of quality breeding habitat (see requirements above) at sites within
current or historic range (see distribution and landscape suitability maps for target areas).
The estimated area of quality habitat needed to accommodate current breeding
populations is 536,200 ha (536,200 = 1,072,400/2 * 1). Annual habitat loss must be
determined and factored into restoration objectives (i.e., there must be an overall net
increase in quality habitat of 107,240 ha).
Monitoring and performance: WBPHS and BBS data can be used to determine progress
towards meeting the population target, which is essentially a growing population.
Periodic evaluation of vital rates (e.g., nest success, female and duckling survival) can be
used as a measure of breeding habitat performance. Eliminating the current population
deficit requires a 20% population increase or an average annual increase of 1% over a 15
year period.
References
Coluccy, J. M., T. Yerkes, R. Simpson, J. W. Simpson, L. Armstrong, and J. Davis. 2008.
Population dynamics of breeding mallards in the Great Lakes states. Journal of
Wildlife Management. In Press.
Drilling, N., R. Titman, and F. McKinney. 2002. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). In The
Birds of North America, No. 658 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North
America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
NLCD. 2001. National Land Cover Data. http://www.mrlc.gov
69
Yerkes, T., R. Page, R. Macleod, L. Armstrong, G. Soulliere, and R. Gatti. 2007.
Predicted distribution and characteristics of wetlands used by Mallard pairs in five
Great Lakes states. American Midland Naturalist 157:356–364.
Breeding abundance and distribution: Based on interpolations of average density
estimates from the aerial Spring Waterfowl Population and Habitat Survey (north states,
1996–2005) and N.A. Breeding Bird Survey total counts (south states, 1996–2005).
Portions of the north JV region had only limited aerial-survey coverage some years.
70
Landscape suitability index (LSI) for breeding: LSI scores for cover types used by
breeding Mallards, with scores closer to 100 representing greater suitability.
Cover typesa
Emergent herbaceous wetlands >5 ha.
Emergent herbaceous wetlands >0.5–5 ha.
Open water <1 km from emergent herbaceous wetlands >0.5 ha.
Palustrine forested and shrub-scrub (deciduous) wetlands >5 ha.
Palustrine forested and shrub-scrub (deciduous) wetlands 0.5–5 ha.
LSI score
100
90
60
40
20
a
Emergent herbaceous wetlands and open water cover types based on National Land Cover Data (2001);
palustrine forested and shrub-scrub (deciduous) wetlands based on National Wetland Inventory (1970s–
80s) except for Wisconsin, Ohio, and Kansas (Wisconsin Wetland Inventory 1970s–80s but NLCD 2001
for woody wetlands in Waupaca, Outagamie, Adams, Juneau, and Grant counties; Ohio Wetland Inventory
(1985) shrub/scrub wetland class used, and for Kansas NLCD 2001 woody wetlands class used).
Conservation design
LSI scores were adjusted to reflect current (1996–2005) breeding abundance and
distribution. Scores were multiplied by the following importance values based on
breeding density: 1.0 (>5 birds / km2), 0.8 (3–5 / km2), 0.4 (1–3 / km2), and 0.1 (<1 / km2)
to calculate a Conservation Value (CV). Scores of CV were averaged within 5 km × 5
km blocks for enhanced regional display.
71
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)
Species Account for Habitat Planning
________________________________________________________________________
Joint Venture breeding population goal and deficit
based on regional surveys (2003–2007)
Breeding goal
390,840
Breeding estimate
325,700
Deficit
65,140
Breeding habitat requirements
Community types: Open, un-forested settings of semipermanent wetlands, ponds, linear waterways, and
seasonal wetlands surrounded by grassland provide
optimal breeding habitat. Species nests in grass,
hayfields, sedge meadows, and other herbaceous cover.
Highest pair and brood densities occur in shallow (<1
m deep) wetlands with hemi-marsh conditions (50:50 cover-water mosaics), especially
when complexes of several wetland basins occur in close proximity. Abundant aquatic
insects and other invertebrates must be present to meet the high energy requirements of
egg-laying females and ducklings.
Timing: Nesting typically begins in late April, with 23 day incubation, and first broods
appearing in late May and early June. Young fledge at 50–60 days, most by early
August. Renesting after nest loss is limited.
Area / distance: Wetlands >0.5 ha in size and >0.3 km from forest cover are believed to
be most productive; optimal complexes of grassland/meadow and open water are >50 ha
in size with a ratio of 4:1 nest cover to brood marsh. Most nests are found <150 m of
marsh wetland. Although multiple hens may rear broods on an individual basin, pairs
will defend “territorial wetlands” and prevent con-specifics from using sites during the
pre-nesting period; wetlands >2 ha in size may contain territories of multiple pairs. This
species readily disperses into new areas of quality breeding habitat.
Limiting factors: Herbaceous wetland / grassland complexes in open (non-forested)
landscapes and with adequate nest cover in close proximity to quality brood wetlands
Water must persist through August brood rearing period.
Population monitoring
Current survey effort: N.A. Breeding Bird Survey; Spring Waterfowl Population and
Habitat Survey (WBPHS) conducted in Wisconsin, Michigan, and portions of Minnesota;
annual harvest surveys; and leg-band recovery analysis.
Recommended monitoring: Current surveys are adequate for population monitoring;
periodic surveys to refine visibility correction factors (VCF) needed in some areas. A
regional survey useful in monitoring vital rates (e.g., recruitment parameters) is necessary
to measure breeding habitat quality.
Research to assist planning
Current and ongoing projects: A study is being completed to determine limiting factors
during breeding in BCR 23 (2006–2009, WDNR). Another study is being conducted
72
across the JV region to examine general duck use of wetland types, food availability and
selection, and habitat quality during spring migration (2005–08; DU, OSU, SIU). Results
of both projects should aid significantly in waterfowl habitat conservation planning.
Research needs: Better understanding of how individual vital rates influence population
growth, and how change in landscape features (e.g., forest encroachment and maturation)
influence breeding habitat quality.
Biological model results
Objective: Maintain regional breeding carrying capacity and eliminate population deficit
through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is considerate of other species of
concern.
Breeding Calculation:
H = d/2 * c
81,425 = 65,140/2 * 2.5
H = minimum new breeding habitat area required to eliminate deficit (ha)
d = regional population deficit (birds)
c = minimum optimal habitat required for each pair (ha)
Optimal habitat includes a mix of seasonal and semi permanent herbaceous wetlands in
an open (non-forested) meadow setting. The grassland-wetland complex should have
about 2 ha of herbaceous cover (grass, sedge, rush) to each 0.5 ha of shallow hemi-marsh
wetland, thus >2.5 ha habitat / pair.
Recommendations
Habitat actions: Maintain (protect) existing habitat area and quality, and add (restore /
enhance) 81,425 ha of quality breeding habitat (see requirements above) at sites within
current or historic range (see distribution and landscape suitability maps for target areas).
The estimated area of quality habitat needed to accommodate current breeding
populations is 407,125 ha (407,125 = 325,700/2 * 2.5). Annual habitat loss must be
determined and factored into restoration objectives (i.e., there must be an overall net
increase in quality habitat of 81,425 ha).
Monitoring and performance: WBPHS and BBS data can be used to determine progress
toward meeting the JV breeding population goal. Periodic evaluation of vital rates can be
used as a measure of breeding habitat performance. Eliminating the current population
deficit requires a 20% population increase or an average annual increase of 1% over a 15
year period.
References
Bellrose, F. C. 1980. Ducks, geese, and swans of North American. Stackpole Books,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. DOI, Fish and Wildlife
Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
NLCD. 2001. National Land Cover Data. http://www.mrlc.gov
Rowher, F. C., W. P. Johnson, and E. R. Loos. 2002. Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors). In
The Birds of North America, No. 625 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of
North America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
73
Breeding abundance and distribution: Based on interpolations of average density
estimates from the aerial Spring Waterfowl Population and Habitat Survey (north states,
1996–2005) and N.A. Breeding Bird Survey total counts (south states, 1996–2005).
Portions of the north JV region had only limited aerial-survey coverage some years.
74
Landscape suitability index (LSI) for breeding: LSI scores for cover types used by
breeding Blue-winged Teal, with scores closer to 100 representing greater suitability.
Cover typesa
LSI score
Emergent herbaceous wetlands >10 ha <100 m from grassland or
100
pasture >40 ha and >0.3 km from forest.
Emergent herbaceous wetlands >2 ha <100 m from grassland or
80
pasture >8 ha and >0.3 km from forest.
Emergent herbaceous wetlands 0.5–2 ha <100 m from grassland or
60
pasture >8 ha and >0.3 km from forest.
Emergent herbaceous wetlands >2 ha <100 m from cropland and >0.3
50
km from forest.
Emergent herbaceous wetlands 0.5–2 ha <100 m from cropland and
40
>0.3 km from forest.
All other emergent herbaceous wetlands >0.5 ha.
10
a
Cover types based on the National Land Cover Dataset (2001).
Conservation design
LSI scores were adjusted to reflect current (1996–2005) breeding abundance and
distribution. Scores were multiplied by the following importance values based on
breeding density: 1.0 (>5 birds / km2), 0.8 (3–5 / km2), 0.4 (1–3 / km2), and 0.1 (<1 / km2)
to calculate a Conservation Value (CV). Scores of CV were averaged within 5 km × 5
km blocks for enhanced regional display.
75
Appendix B. Spring migration and wintering (non-breeding season) waterfowl
guild accounts with population and cover type information used to develop habitat
conservation objectives for the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint
Venture (JV) region. Population estimates for species using these primary cover
types during migration and wintering are measured in individual birds and use days
on quality foraging habitat. Deficit = JV regional goal – current estimate.
Species/habitat guild (account primary author/compiler)
Last revised
Wet mudflat / moist soil plants (Brad Potter and Greg Soulliere)
Shallow semi permanent marsh (Greg Soulliere and Brad Potter)
Deep-water marsh (Brad Potter and Greg Soulliere)
Extensive open water (Greg Soulliere and Brad Potter)
August 2007
August 2007
August 2007
August 2007
76
Wet Mudflat / Moist-soil Plants Waterfowl
Guild Account for Non-breeding Period Habitat Planning
___________________________________________________________________
Foraging habitat
Guild uses sites that are Joint Venture migration population and use day estimate and deficit
based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via harvest)
typically non-forested
Migration abundance
Use days
wetland >1 ha in size
Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
with dynamic
Blue-winged Teal
1,387,501
0 41,625,029
0
hydrology yielding
Northern
Shoveler
254,436
0
7,633,091
0
areas of exposed
Northern Pintail
225,506
211,976 10,147,771 9,538,904
mudflat and very
Green-winged Teal
487,534
0 21,939,032
0
shallow water (<25
Total
2,354,977
112,753
81,344,923
5,073,885
cm deep). Summer
growth of annual seedJoint Venture wintering population and use day estimate and deficit
producing plants
based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via MWI)
(moist-soil species) is
Winter abundance
Use days
common and these sites Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
are preferred migration Blue-winged Teal
10,210
0
0
0
17,737
0
0
0
habitat when flooded in Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
30,801
15,401
0
0
fall and spring.
4,228
0
0
0
Wetlands with a mix of Green-winged Teal
Total
62,976
15,401
0
0
open water and
emergent cover (about 50:50 ratio) are especially attractive to the group. Most species in
this guild depend on seed sources and invertebrates, except Northern Shoveler which
feeds almost exclusively on invertebrates.
Migration timing
Migration timing for group peaks April to May and September to November, depending
on species and latitude. Species in this guild generally do not winter in the JV region.
Limiting factors
Quantity of suitable shallow water sites with preferred food resources during migration
may limit populations in this guild. Wetlands must have adequate shallow water for this
group.
Objective
Increase regional carrying capacity for this waterfowl guild to goal levels (goal = current
population + deficit) through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is
considerate of other species of concern.
77
Habitat model
Habitat maintenance and restoration objectives were derived using an energetic-model,
converting use-day requirements into habitat objectives; “maintenance” objectives are
established to accommodate current populations and “restoration” objectives are
necessary to eliminate population deficits. Use-day estimates are based on predicted
population size during spring migration and winter, multiplied by estimated duration of
stay during these periods. Habitat objectives are for migration and winter periods
combined and based on an estimate of food energy available in this cover type and daily
energy needs by species (see strategy text for energetic-model methods).
Non-breeding period habitat calculation
Use days
Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Blue-winged Teal
41,625,029
0
Northern Shoveler
7,633,091
0
Northern Pintail
10,147,771 9,538,904
Green-winged Teal
21,939,032
0
Total
81,344,923 5,073,885
Habitat (ha)
Maintenance Restoration
8,173
0
2,002
0
3,618
3,401
3,293
0
17,086
3,401
Recommendations
Maintain/protect 17,000 ha of existing moist-soil wetland area with the carrying capacity
and food resources to accommodate current populations in this guild. Restore or enhance
3,400 ha of moist-soil wetland to increase carrying capacity, adequately meeting the
nutritional needs of identified population deficits. See Tables 12 and 13 and Figures 5
and 6 in text for recommended protection and restoration locations.
Research to assist planning
Information needs of greatest importance includes determining duration of stay,
accessible food energy available in preferred cover types, and factors besides food
potentially limiting population growth.
References
Bellrose, F. C. 1980. Ducks, geese, and swans of North American. Stackpole Books,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. Department of Interior,
Fish and Wildlife Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
Rowher, F. C., W. P. Johnson, and E. R. Loos. 2002. Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors). In
The Birds of North America, No. 625 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of
North America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
78
Migration abundance and distribution: County-level harvest data (1995–2004
average) was used to determine distribution during migration. Harvest period was
September to January.
79
Winter abundance and distribution: The Mid-winter Inventory (MWI), conducted in
early January each year, is an incomplete survey of wintering waterfowl but reflects
distribution and provides a crude estimate of abundance by MWI zone. MWI average
counts during 1995–2004 for guild species with >1% of the inventoried winter population
occurring in the JV region were used to create maps A and B. Map A represents the
proportion (%) of total regional count by MWI zone. Map B depicts the total count
divided by zone area (km2) for a crude comparison of density by zone. Larger zones
were assumed to have greater survey effort. The wet mudflat / moist soil plants guild
includes wintering Northern Pintail; Nebraska’s MWI was incomplete and Northern
Pintail total was assumed to be 25.
80
Shallow Semi-permanent Marsh Waterfowl
Guild Account for Non-breeding Period Habitat Planning
___________________________________________________________________
Foraging habitat
Joint Venture migration population and use day estimate and deficit
Guild uses marsh and
based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via harvest)
open water sites
Migration abundance
Use days
opportunistically during
Estimate
Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
migration and wintering Guild species
Wood
Duck
1,269,436
0
38,083,080
0
periods. Wetlands are
Gadwall
371,256
0
11,137,685
0
usually >0.5 ha in size
American Wigeon
373,394 48,541
11,201,819 1,456,237
and <1 m deep with a
American Black Duck
150,874 81,472
6,789,352 3,666,250
mosaic of herbaceous
Mallard
2,882,023
0 129,691,043
0
emergent and
Total
5,046,984 130,013 196,902,979 5,122,487
submergent plants
Joint Venture wintering population and use day estimate and deficit
and persistent standing
based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via MWI)
water; optimum
Wintering abundance
Use days
emergent vegetation to
Guild
species
Estimate
Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
open water mix around
Wood Duck
116,402
0
10,476,180
0
50:50. Wood Ducks,
Gadwall
16,433
0
0
0
and to a lesser degree
American Wigeon
7,596
987
0
0
Mallards, also use shrub- American Black Duck
69,159
37,346
6,224,310 3,361,127
scrub and forested
Mallard
1,859,818
0 167,383,620
0
wetlands. Black Ducks
Total
2,069,408
38,333 184,084,110 3,361,127
and Wigeon more often
use large coastal marshes. The guild feeds on seeds, invertebrates, and plant material by
dabbling in wetland areas <0.5 m deep, except wood ducks which more commonly glean
from the water surface or feed on mast and invertebrates in adjacent uplands. Mallards
also commonly feed on waist grain in agricultural fields (e.g., harvested corn and wheat),
particularly during fall and winter. These fields are often <10 km from roost sites (open
water and emergent marsh >5 ha) but may be up to 20 km away.
Migration timing
Migration timing for group peaks March to May and September to December, depending
on species, latitude, and ice conditions. Black Duck and Mallard winter in the JV region,
and wintering Wood Ducks are becoming more common.
Limiting factors
None apparent during fall migration; quality feeding and roosting habitat assumed to be
adequate. Recent body condition information suggests availability of small (1–10 ha)
shallow wetlands in mid-migration areas may be limiting for Mallards during spring
migration, and healthy coastal marsh and other large >10 ha marsh/open water complexes
with abundant food resources may be limiting for Black Ducks, particularly in winter and
spring. Thus, quantity and quality of suitable marsh wetlands with available invertebrate
and seed foods may limit populations in this guild particularly during spring migration.
81
Objective
Increase regional carrying capacity for this waterfowl guild to goal levels (goal = current
population + deficit) through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is
considerate of other species of concern.
Habitat model
Habitat maintenance and restoration objectives were derived using an energetic-model,
converting use-day requirements into habitat objectives; “maintenance” objectives are
established to accommodate current populations and “restoration” objectives are
necessary to eliminate population deficits. Use-day estimates are based on predicted
population size during spring migration and winter, multiplied by estimated duration of
stay during these periods. Habitat objectives are for migration and winter periods
combined and based on an estimate of nutritional energy available in this cover type and
daily energy needs by species (see strategy text for energetic-model methods).
Non-breeding period habitat calculation
Use Days
Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Wood Duck
48,559,260
0
Gadwall
11,137,685
0
American Wigeon
11,201,819 1,456,237
American Black Duck
13,013,662 7,027,377
Mallard
297,074,663
0
Total
380,987,089 8,483,614
Habitat (ha)
Maintenance Restoration
46,901
0
13,991
0
12,427
1,615
19,723
10,650
450,226
0
543,268
12,265
Recommendations
Maintain/protect 543,000 ha of existing shallow semi-permanent marsh with the carrying
capacity and food resources to accommodate current populations in this guild. Restore or
enhance 12,000 ha of wetland to increase carrying capacity, adequately meeting the
nutritional needs of identified population deficits. See Tables 12 and 13 and Figures 5
and 6 in text for recommended protection and restoration locations.
Research to assist planning
Information needs of greatest importance includes determining duration of stay,
accessible food energy available in preferred cover types, and factors besides food
potentially limiting population growth.
References
Bellrose, F. C. 1980. Ducks, geese, and swans of North American. Stackpole Books,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
Bellrose, F. C., and D. J. Holm. 1994. Ecology and management of the Wood Duck.
Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
Conroy, M. J., M. W. Miller, and J. E. Hines. 2002. Identification and synthetic modeling
of factors affecting American Black Duck populations. Wildlife Monographs 150.
Drilling, N., R. Titman, and F. McKinney. 2002. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). In The
Birds of North America, No. 658 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North
America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
82
Hepp, G. R., and F. C. Bellrose. 1995. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa). In The Birds of North
America, No. 169 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences,
Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.
Longcore, J. R., D. G. McAuley, G. R. Hepp, and J. M. Rhymer. 2000. American Black
Duck (Anas rubripes). In The Birds of North America, No. 481 (A. Poole and F.
Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. Department of Interior,
Fish and Wildlife Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
Migration abundance and distribution: County-level harvest data (1995–2004
average) was used to determine distribution during migration. Harvest period was
September to January.
83
Winter abundance and distribution: The Mid-winter Inventory (MWI), conducted in
early January each year, is an incomplete survey of wintering waterfowl but reflects
distribution and provides a crude estimate of abundance by MWI zone. MWI average
counts during 1995–2004 for guild species with >1% of the inventoried winter population
occurring in the JV region were used to create maps A and B. Map A represents the
proportion (%) of total regional count by MWI zone. Map B depicts the total count
divided by zone area (km2) for a crude comparison of density by zone. Larger zones
were assumed to have greater survey effort. The shallow marsh guild includes wintering
Mallards and American Black Ducks; Nebraska’s MWI was incomplete except for
Mallard (Black Duck total assumed to be 25).
84
Deep-water Marsh Waterfowl
Guild Account for Non-breeding Period Habitat Planning
___________________________________________________________________
Foraging habitat
Joint Venture migration population and use day estimate and deficit
Guild uses open water
wetlands 0.5–1.5 m deep based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via harvest)
Migration abundance
Use days
and >2 ha in size, mixed
Guild species
Estimate Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
with areas and borders
Mute
Swan
10,600
0
954,000
0
of emergent vegetation
Trumpeter Swan
2,400
0
216,000
0
and submergent
Tundra Swan
40,000
0
1,000,000
0
vegetation common in
Ring-necked Duck
644,547
0
19,336,412
0
openings. These settings Hooded Merganser
136,131
0
6,125,873
0
may be large ponds,
Ruddy Duck
214,585
0
6,437,548
0
lakes, and riverine
Total
1,048,263
0
34,069,833
0
marshes. The group
Joint Venture wintering population and use day estimate and deficit
feeds largely on aquatic
based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via MWI)
plants (swans) or on fish
Wintering abundance
Use days
and aquatic invertebrates Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
(duck species). Swans
Mute Swan
5,380
0
484,200
0
consume plant leaves,
Trumpeter Swan
1,949
0
175,410
0
stems, and tubers,
Tundra Swan
1,468
0
0
0
especially sago
Ring-necked Duck
46,905
0
4,221,450
0
pondweed (Potamogeton Hooded Merganser
68,343
0
6,150,870
0
pectinatus) and broadRuddy Duck
3,045
0
0
0
leaved arrowhead
Total
127,090
0
11,031,930
0
(Sagitaria latifolia).
Tundra and Trumpeter Swans also forage extensively in agricultural fields (>16 ha in size
and <25 km from roost wetlands) during winter and spring, but primarily in aquatic areas
during fall migration. Non-foraging swans prefer roost areas with >95% open water and
>1.3 km2 in size. In addition to aquatic plants, the duck species feed on various
invertebrates (e.g., snails, crayfish, and aquatic insects) and small fish in open water and
near emergent marsh edges or in deep emergent marsh with low plant stem density.
Migration timing
Migration timing peaks March to May and October to December, depending on species,
latitude, and ice conditions. Hooded Mergansers and the swans are relatively early
migrants in spring and late in fall. Mute Swans typically winter in the northern portion of
the JV region as long as areas of deep marsh remain ice free. Trumpeter Swans also are
wintering farther north over time.
Limiting factors
Quantity and quality of suitable deep-water marsh areas with preferred food resources
during migration may limit populations in this guild. Swans began shifting to agricultural
fields in the 1960s, possibly in response to declines in aquatic vegetation at staging
(Tundra Swan) and wintering (Trumpeter Swan) areas.
85
Objective
Increase regional carrying capacity for this waterfowl guild to goal levels (goal = current
population + deficit) through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is
considerate of other species of concern. Mute Swans are considered an undesirable
exotic, and many wildlife agencies practice population control on this species.
Habitat model
Habitat maintenance and restoration objectives were derived using an energetic-model,
converting use-day requirements into habitat objectives; “maintenance” objectives are
established to accommodate current populations and “restoration” objectives are
necessary to eliminate population deficits. Use-day estimates are based on predicted
population size during spring migration and winter, multiplied by estimated duration of
stay during these periods. Habitat objectives are for migration and winter periods
combined and based on an estimate of food energy available in this cover type and daily
energy needs by species (see strategy text for energetic-model methods).
Non-breeding period habitat calculation
Use Days
Guild species
Estimate Deficit
Mute Swan
1,438,200
0
Trumpeter Swan
391,410
0
Tundra Swan
1,000,000
0
Ring-necked Duck
23,557,862
0
Hooded Merganser
12,276,743
0
Ruddy Duck
6,437,548
0
Total
45,101,763
0
Habitat (ha)
Maintenance Restoration
8,041
0
2,374
0
4,016
0
17,453
0
9,004
0
3,964
0
44,852
0
Recommendations
Maintain/protect 45,000 ha of existing deep-water marsh with the carrying capacity and
food resources to accommodate current populations in this guild. There are no
population deficits or habitat restoration objectives for this group. See Table 12 and
Figure 5 in text for recommended protection locations.
Research to assist planning
Information needs of greatest importance includes determining duration of stay,
accessible food energy available in preferred cover types, and factors besides food
potentially limiting population growth.
References
Bellrose, F. C. 1980. Ducks, geese, and swans of North American. Stackpole Books,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
Limpert, R. J. and S. L. Earnst. 1994. Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus). In The Birds
of North America, No. 89 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The
Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’
Union.
86
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. DOI, Fish and Wildlife
Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
Petrie, S. A., S. S. Badzinski, and K. L. Wilcox. 2002. Population trends and habitat use
of Tundra Swans staging at Long Point, Lake Erie. Waterbirds 25 (special
publication 1):143–149.
Petrie, S. A., and K. L. Wilcox. 2003. Migration chronology of Eastern-Population
Tundra Swans. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81:861–870.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1987. Birds of the Upper Mississippi River
National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Unpaginated. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
http://www.npwrc.usgs.govupperms.htm (Version 1991).
Migration abundance and distribution: County-level harvest data (1995–2004
average) was used to determine distribution during migration. Harvest period was
September to January. Also see Tundra Swan distribution and habitat suitability maps
(below).
87
Winter abundance and distribution: The Mid-winter Inventory (MWI), conducted in
early January each year, is an incomplete survey of wintering waterfowl but reflects
distribution and provides a crude estimate of abundance by MWI zone. MWI average
counts during 1995–2004 for guild species with >1% of the inventoried winter population
occurring in the JV region were used to create maps A and B. Map A represents the
proportion (%) of total regional count by MWI zone. Map B depicts the total count
divided by zone area (km2) for a crude comparison of density by zone. Larger zones
were assumed to have greater survey effort. The deep-water marsh guild includes
Trumpeter, Mute, and Tundra Swans and Ring-necked Ducks; Nebraska’s MWI was
incomplete and Tundra Swan total was assumed to be 10 and Ring-necked Duck to be 25.
88
Tundra Swan migration abundance and distribution: Migration corridor and staging
areas from Tundra Swans marked with satellite transmitters (1998–2000; Petrie and
Wilcox 2003) and from banding data and observation (Bellrose 1980, USFWS 1987).
89
Landscape suitability index (LSI) for Tundra Swan migration: LSI scores closer to
100 represent greater suitability for Tundra Swans.
Output optionsa
Great Lakes water <2 m deep, and Mississippi River and inland lakes
>130 ha with emergent marshb and within species migration corridor.
Inland open water >2 ha with adjacent emergent marshb and located
<25 km from potential roost areas (water bodies >130 ha) within
species migration corridor.
Open water >2 ha without emergent marsh, within migration corridor.
All open water >2 ha outside migration corridor but within JV region.
a
LSI score
100
80
60
20
Great Lakes water depth was interpolated from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) bathymetric contour file.
b
The presence of emergent vegetation was assumed to reflect shallow water areas likely to contain
submerged aquatic vegetation.
90
Extensive Open Water Waterfowl
Guild Account for Non-breeding Period Habitat Planning
___________________________________________________________________
Foraging habitat
Guild uses open water
Joint Venture migration population and use day estimate and deficit
based on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via harvest)
of the Great Lakes,
Migration abundance
Use days
bays, large rivers, and
Estimate Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
inland lakes with water Guild species
Canvasback
165,413
0
7,443,585
0
depth 1–9 m and >10
Redhead
285,555
0
12,849,990
0
ha in size. This diverse
Greater Scaup
211,867 105,933
9,534,012 4,767,006
group feeds primarily
Lesser
Scaup
1,302,757
716,516
39,082,712
21,495,491
on aquatic plants
Surf Scoter
42,000
13,860
1,890,000
623,700
(Canvasback and
White-winged Scoter
64,096
10,896
2,884,322
490,335
Redhead), fish
Black Scoter
53,365
13,341
2,401,428
600,357
(mergansers), and
Long-tailed Duck
67,440 114,647
3,034,780 5,159,126
invertebrates (Scaup,
Bufflehead
451,068
0 20,298,053
0
Common Goldeneye,
Common Goldeneye
473,253
0 21,296,386
0
Bufflehead, Scoters,
Common Merganser
276,748
0 12,453,643
0
and Long-tailed Duck)
Red-breasted Merganser
48,314
0
2,174,109
0
Total
3,441,876 975,193 135,343,020 33,136,015
by diving and capturing
prey. Diets vary by
Joint Venture winter population and use day estimate and deficit based
season and food
on NAWMP goals and regional proportioning (via MWI)
availability, and
Winter abundance
Use days
occasionally some
Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Estimate
Deficit
species feed without
Canvasback
130,033
0 11,702,970
0
diving when forage is
Redhead
79,123
0
7,121,070
0
Greater Scaup
29,601
14,801
2,664,090 1,332,045
present on the water
Lesser Scaup
167,742
92,258 15,096,780 8,303,045
surface. Being the
100
33
9,000
2,970
most herbivorous of the Surf Scoter
White-winged
Scoter
114
17
10,260
1,744
group, Canvasbacks
Black
Scoter
70
14
6,300
1,575
and Redheads prefer
Long-tailed Duck
68,303 116,115
6,147,270 10,450,359
winter buds, tubers,
Bufflehead
96,369
0
8,673,210
0
rhizomes, and root
Common Goldeneye
414,624
0 37,316,160
0
stalks of submerged
Common Merganser
195,712
0 17,614,080
0
aquatic vegetation and
Red-breasted Merganser
46,598
0
4,193,820
0
benthic invertebrates.
Total
1,228,389 223,238 110,555,010 20,091,738
When foods like wild
celery (Vallisneria americana) and sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) are
unavailable, diet shifts to fingernail clams (Sphaerium transversum), snails (Somatogyrus
isogonus), and aquatic insect nymphs, particularly mayfly (Hexagenia sp.). These
invertebrates, plus Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), are the primary food items for
other species in this guild except the predominately fish-eating mergansers.
91
Migration timing
Migration timing for group peaks March to May and October to December, depending on
species, latitude, and ice conditions. Remaining as far north as they can find extensive
open water, the mergansers and Common Goldeneye winter in the JV region.
Canvasback, Scaup, and Redheads are increasingly wintering in the region.
Limiting factors
Quantity and quality of suitable open water with preferred food resources during
migration may limit populations in this guild. Water bodies must have adequate depth
and high enough quality to permit submerged aquatic plant growth and/or high densities
of aquatic invertebrates. Lesser Scaup, in particular, may be suffering from reduced
water quality and food resources in spring. Sites also must have acceptably low levels of
human disturbance (e.g., power-boat activity).
Objective
Increase regional carrying capacity for this waterfowl guild to goal levels (goal = current
population + deficit) through effective and efficient habitat conservation that is
considerate of other species of concern.
Habitat model
Habitat maintenance and restoration objectives were derived using an energetic-model,
converting use-day requirements into habitat objectives; “maintenance” objectives are
established to accommodate current populations and “restoration” objectives are
necessary to eliminate population deficits. Use-day estimates are based on predicted
population size during spring migration and winter, multiplied by estimated duration of
stay during these periods. Habitat objectives are for migration and winter periods
combined and based on an estimate of food energy available in this cover type and daily
energy needs by species (see strategy text for energetic-model methods).
Non-breeding period habitat calculation
Use days
Guild species
Estimate
Deficit
Canvasback
19,146,555
0
Redhead
19,971,060
0
Greater Scaup
12,198,102
6,099,051
Lesser Scaup
54,179,492
29,793,720
Surf Scoter
1,899,000
626,670
White-winged Scoter
2,884,322
492,079
Black Scoter
2,401,428
601,932
Long-tailed Duck
9,182,050
15,609,485
Bufflehead
28,971,263
0
Common Goldeneye
58,612,546
0
Common Merganser
30,067,723
0
Red-breasted Merganser
6,367,929
0
Total
245,881,470
53,222,937
92
Habitat (ha)
Maintenance Restoration
17,866
0
17,012
0
10,010
5,005
37,150
20,433
1,500
495
3,220
547
2,088
522
6,999
11,899
13,290
0
48,863
0
34,395
0
3,896
0
196,289
38,901
Recommendations
Maintain/protect 198,000 ha of existing open water with the carrying capacity and food
resources to accommodate current populations in this guild. Restore or enhance 39,000
ha of wetland to increase carrying capacity, adequately meeting the nutritional needs of
identified population deficits. See Tables 12 and 13 and Figures 5 and 6 in text for
recommended protection and restoration locations.
Research to assist planning
Information needs of greatest importance includes determining duration of stay,
accessible food energy available in preferred cover types, and factors besides food
potentially limiting population growth.
References
Afton, A. D., and M. G. Anderson. 2001. Declining scaup populations: A retrospective
analysis of long-term population and harvest survey data. Journal of Wildlife
Management 65:781–796.
Austin, J. E., C. M. Custer, and A. D. Afton. 1998. Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis). In The
Birds of North America, No. 338 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North
America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Bellrose, F. C. 1980. Ducks, geese, and swans of North American. Stackpole Books,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
Mowbray, T. B. 2002. Canvasback (Aythya valisineria). In The Birds of North America,
No. 659 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
NAWMP. 2004. North American waterfowl management plan: strengthening the
biological foundation (Implementation Framework). U.S. DOI, Fish and Wildlife
Service and Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service.
93
Migration abundance and distribution: County-level harvest data (1995–2004
average) was used to determine distribution during migration. Harvest period was
September to January.
94
Winter abundance and distribution: The Mid-winter Inventory (MWI), conducted in
early January each year, is an incomplete survey of wintering waterfowl but reflects
distribution and provides a crude estimate of abundance by MWI zone. MWI average
counts during 1995–2004 for guild species with >1% of the inventoried winter population
occurring in the JV region were used to create maps A and B. Map A represents the
proportion (%) of total regional count by MWI zone. Map B depicts the total count
divided by zone area (km2) for a crude comparison of density by zone. Larger zones
were assumed to have greater survey effort. The open water guild includes wintering
Lesser and Greater Scaup, Canvasback, Redhead, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and
Common and Red-breasted Merganser; Nebraska’s MWI was incomplete and species
totals were assumed to be 25.
95
Appendix C. Common and scientific names of waterfowl occurring in the Upper
Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region.
Species (population) common name
Geese
Snow Goose, Greater
Snow Goose, Lesser
Ross’s Goose
Atlantic Brant
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose, Giant
Canada Goose, Interior
Swans
Mute Swan (Feral)
Trumpeter Swan (Interior)
Tundra Swan (Eastern)
Perching ducks
Wood Duck
Dabbling ducks
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Diving ducks and pochards
Canvasback
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Sea ducks
Common Eider
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Stiff-tailed ducks
Ruddy Duck
Tribe and scientific name
Anserini
Chen caerulescens atlanticus
Chen caerulescens caerulescens
Chen rossii
Branta bernicla
Branta hutchinsii
Branta canadensis maxima
Branta canadensis interior
Cygnini
Cygnus olor
Cygnus buccinator
Cygnus columbianus
Cairinini
Aix sponsa
Anatini
Anas strepera
Anas americana
Anas rubripes
Anas platyrhynchos
Anas discors
Anas clypeata
Anas acuta
Anas crecca
Aythyini
Aythya valisineria
Aythya americana
Aythya collaris
Aythya marila
Aythya affinis
Mergini
Somateria mollissima
Melanitta perspicillata
Melanitta fusca
Melanitta nigra
Clangula hyemalis
Bucephala albeola
Bucephala clangula
Lophodytes cucullatus
Mergus merganser
Mergus serrator
Oxyurini
Oxyura jamaicensis
96
Appendix D. Mid-winter Inventory average counts and proportional distribution
for waterfowl species commonly wintering in the Upper Mississippi River and Great
Lakes region (USFWS Region 3), 1971–2007. Only species with >1% of wintering
population occurring in region were included.
97
Totals
MN
Mallard
1971–75
1975–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
16,060
33,660
25,400
25,996
17,911
13,975
31,247
15,654
American Black Duck
1971–75
580
1975–80
380
1981–85
125
1986–90
203
1991–95
59
1996–00
8
2001–05
14
2006–07
74
Northern Pintail
1971–75
0
1975–80
0
1981–85
10
1986–90
5
1991–95
0
1996–00
0
2001–05
1
2006–07
0
WIa
MIb
8,680
12,060
18,720
27,763
27,487
30,188
37,150
28,594
10,600
15,400
10,440
10,496
17,200
35,243
27,129
25,695
90,560
128,080
58,980
52,180
17,632
34,131
55,488
55,845
307,680
402,580
157,260
159,028
119,586
182,210
143,606
202,662
1,120
780
820
1,221
1,409
1,336
796
516
3,420
2,240
1,600
1,534
4,020
5,000
3,585
2,414
40
400
200
109
40
57
31
280
0
0
20
16
2
1
1
2
5
10
0
21
17
4
102
14
60
35
35
16
3
17
4
10
IA
IL
IN
OH
MO
22,960
31,500
21,440
18,543
19,011
33,795
18,806
18,990
46,080
19,340
20,220
39,102
60,347
55,262
52,386
52,505
249,820
314,460
198,140
153,481
278,964
403,849
390,984
432,111
752,440
957,080
510,600
486,588
558,139
788,654
756,797
832,054
7,245,407
6,610,164
5,373,491
5,092,096
4,557,397
5,962,422
4,918,891
5,087,082
10.4
14.5
9.5
9.6
12.2
13.2
15.4
16.4
182,072
245,015
200,151
167,159
177,305
155,258
149,581
110,603
12,720
11,920
6,440
5,803
4,862
2,295
943
1,224
5,920
4,820
4,740
3,911
2,541
2,713
992
720
36,820
11,160
13,060
18,711
33,093
13,705
7,956
5,407
3,300
1,980
150
165
315
752
35
492
63,920
33,680
27,135
31,658
46,339
25,866
14,354
11,125
383,506
350,781
300,112
309,701
292,196
273,438
250,053
209,447
16.7
9.6
9.0
10.2
15.9
9.5
5.7
5.3
60
240
145
475
75
1,444
837
6,019
60
20
85
13
187
262
37
242
120
25
75
138
180
103
131
53
4,840
2,840
230
368
1,836
11,155
26,955
40,667
5,145
3,170
600
1,052
2,300
12,987
28,068
47,005
5,065,415
5,337,116
3,060,350
1,946,639
1,993,093
2,270,190
2,464,003
3,191,059
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.1
0.1
0.6
1.1
1.5
98
Region 3
U.S.
Total by Flywayc
R3
%
Atlantic Mississippi
Central
Pacific
2,874,820
3,023,160
2,080,220
2,439,612
2,183,252
2,575,068
2,103,624
1,939,218
2,255,820
1,917,827
1,409,493
1,110,047
885,795
1,701,474
1,635,746
1,845,890
1,932,695
1,424,162
1,683,627
1,375,278
1,311,045
1,530,622
1,029,940
1,191,371
258,026
250,661
225,712
222,440
216,221
222,934
220,007
189,362
125,480
100,120
74,400
87,261
75,975
50,504
30,046
20,085
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
92,489
82,211
53,032
43,925
55,030
45,268
44,806
79,245
572,325
535,375
751,565
461,045
516,093
414,659
562,737
688,364
1,127,665
1,274,567
497,168
490,675
495,061
560,355
553,848
769,527
3,272,936
3,444,963
1,758,585
950,995
926,909
1,249,908
1,302,612
1,653,923
Totals
WIa
MIb
IA
IL
0
380
590
16
1,247
78
28
19
6,980
9,085
11,040
13,125
18,295
41,701
44,987
51,315
70
1,665
155
65
2
525
1,133
22,571
6,280
3,000
7,665
3,500
1,682
1,109
2,375
15,966
140
100
55
32
8
25
15
41
360
3,840
2,360
4,951
4,481
8,826
3,715
2,946
160
685
280
154
170
315
193
112
Scaup (primarily Lesser)
1971–75
0
2,680
1975–80
20
2,960
1981–85
15
2,440
1986–90
20
1,410
1991–95
1
2,278
1996–00
1
10,200
2001–05
5
29,412
2006–07
56
31,942
10,660
685
380
415
1,828
4,903
6,432
4,352
2,100
410
100
16
31
272
398
3,766
620
540
305
1,040
397
1,052
617
418
300
60
165
136
160
235
129
171
1,160
2,520
3,880
3,498
11,832
16,252
10,072
10,729
Redhead
1971–75
1975–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
3,860
7,100
6,380
3,676
11,672
32,596
24,186
12,038
60
30
50
12
2
144
362
1,021
0
0
280
140
0
61
54
27
0
0
35
50
28
30
7
37
105
240
700
948
74
330
149
277
MN
Canvasback
1971–75
1975–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
0
0
0
5
1
0
0
4
0
0
5
5
0
1
0
2
20
20
15
22
17
40
108
1,761
IN
OH
MO
99
Region 3
Total by Flywayc
R3
U.S.
%
Atlantic Mississippi
Central
Pacific
13,990
18,755
22,145
21,848
25,886
52,579
52,447
92,973
219,809
316,439
312,905
264,097
263,373
294,409
303,424
307,930
6.4
5.9
7.1
8.3
9.8
17.9
17.3
30.2
103,826
139,012
127,906
109,973
95,214
94,295
65,766
43,675
40,370
69,095
82,550
90,675
113,487
133,849
155,970
193,239
13,347
24,619
45,697
22,289
20,416
20,437
22,908
10,547
62,267
83,713
56,752
41,160
34,256
45,828
58,781
60,470
3,580
4,260
1,500
2,390
726
1,425
1,179
1,230
21,100
11455
8785
8925.6
17,251
34,341
48,245
52,662
1,299,780
1,134,066
986,225
1,079,188
1,090,492
935,468
1,230,992
591,861
1.6
1.0
0.9
0.8
1.6
3.7
3.9
8.9
522,755
370,445
365,816
382,267
729,307
427,118
398,239
181,411
612,060
553,435
419,605
479,335
154,735
247,302
432,675
115,337
78,767
78,079
75,665
62,206
47,858
96,777
185,029
93,390
86,198
132,107
125,139
155,380
158,592
164,271
215,049
201,723
600
70
170
70
66
206
63
59
4,645
7,460
7,635
4,923
11,859
33,408
24,930
15,221
410,349
493,873
325,679
374,235
443,152
429,775
460,492
333,917
1.1 112,144
1.5 128,391
2.3 96,574
1.3 84,360
2.7 89,020
7.8 124,105
5.4 71,065
4.6 28,785
18,250
15,785
9,700
7,873
17,755
34,579
26,028
15,402
267,130
333,242
193,333
261,947
311,913
243,983
325,127
249,027
12,824
16,455
26,072
20,054
24,465
27,108
38,272
40,703
Totals
WIa
MN
MIb
IA
IL
IN
OH
MO
U.S.
%
25,500
50,680
36,755
64,270
37,564
32,419
39,550
30,022
118,835
140,240
137,490
153,718
122,424
136,903
140,507
150,469
21.5
36.1
26.7
41.8
30.7
23.7
28.1
20.0
43,688
38,181
44,091
29,586
22,114
24,378
22,550
15,832
26,385
53,395
40,685
66,511
38,667
33,506
41,762
31,081
9,294
10,124
17,521
21,412
17,082
20,549
28,053
26,390
39,468
38,540
35,193
36,209
44,561
58,469
48,142
77,166
480
760
680
619
574
925
803
387
1,075
1,430
1,170
1,322
2,086
9,558
12,943
9,866
84,884
108,001
102,134
107,416
125,410
151,021
174,005
160,480
1.3
1.3
1.1
1.2
1.7
6.3
7.4
6.1
44,847
62,311
53,530
56,870
58,822
70,933
69,775
74,614
2,360
3,400
3,915
4,098
4,192
12,269
16,133
17,904
6,452
6,504
6,754
4,905
12,442
17,785
23,229
15,945
31,224
35,786
37,935
41,542
49,954
50,034
64,869
52,017
3,280
3,900
1,760
4,568
10,175
10,254
4,902
14,697
4,085
4,390
2,415
5,742
11,277
13,082
10,558
25,801
154,390
109,715
207,945
356,510
379,678
464,211
563,881
565,167
2.6 56,807
4.0 36,963
1.2 56,095
1.6 69,802
3.0 119,325
2.8 106,983
1.9 76,680
4.6 58,832
86,745
62,010
118,880
230,720
205,993
191,187
282,987
306,126
5,376
4,302
21,113
26,793
23,026
117,973
140,643
82,092
5,462
6,440
11,857
29,195
31,334
48,068
63,570
118,118
Goldeneye
1971–75
1975–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
800
280
285
707
397
388
697
1,223
2,220
4,060
4,540
4,483
5,629
7,865
15,259
16,474
6,700
2,680
4,160
2,513
1,865
2,659
5,868
2,691
140
3,360
30
94
336
287
606
1,921
13,280
35,360
24,560
48,385
21,421
14,089
14,725
5,986
680
320
420
210
201
292
148
290
980
1,720
740
4,775
5,187
5,094
968
71
700
2,900
2,020
3,104
2,527
1,744
1,278
1,368
Bufflehead
1971–75
1975–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
0
15
15
10
2
6
2
6
40
400
180
301
335
1,252
2,883
2,965
140
110
30
96
606
300
2,538
4,309
10
5
20
16
9
16
104
21
100
60
105
82
302
6,466
6,309
1,933
280
0
50
73
96
422
186
124
25
80
90
126
163
169
118
122
Ring-necked Duck
1971–75
0
1975–80
0
1981–85
5
1986–90
10
1991–95
3
1996–00
2
2001–05
4
2006–07
12
0
0
5
25
18
23
43
33
0
0
0
26
191
56
306
182
5
25
120
10
3
83
81
1,055
120
240
170
838
297
1,620
4,638
8,328
640
65
225
147
291
697
167
660
40
160
130
118
298
347
416
836
100
Region 3
Total by Flywayc
R3
Atlantic Mississippi
Central
Pacific
Totals
MN
Long-tailed Duck
1971–75
0
1975–80
0
1981–85
0
1986–90
59
1991–95
4
1996–00
0
2001–05
0
2006–07
1
WIa
IL
IN
OH
MO
Region 3
U.S.
%
Atlantic Mississippi
Central
Pacific
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
5
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2,585
3,380
2,085
1,046
740
942
225
5,061
16,363
20,765
19,001
16,057
12,646
9,038
6,962
13,766
15.8
16.3
11.0
6.5
5.9
10.4
3.2
36.8
13,341
17,032
16,671
14,716
11,387
7,420
6,196
7,838
2,590
3,405
2,085
1,056
740
942
227
5,061
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
432
327
245
286
519
675
538
867
Mergansers (Common, Red-breasted, Hooded)
1971–75
5
260
1,860
160
1975–80
35
540
610
860
1981–85
25
900
9,505
165
1986–90
244
2,972
17,887
462
1991–95
403
2,322
13,871
405
1996–00
577
3,359
7,471
2,321
2001–05
730
3,520
7,699
1,948
2006–07
551
16,356
4,207
7,468
8,880
15,760
9,060
16,714
10,357
18,543
9,765
1,699
180
380
405
249
206
632
343
261
2,765
140
3,060
6,904
15,676
19,264
9,013
23,810
6,780
8,020
4,960
10,628
14,272
14,192
5,395
3,806
20,890
26,345
28,080
56,060
57,512
66,359
38,414
58,156
160,636
219,894
260,167
290,480
281,855
302,056
227,807
206,695
13.0
12.0
10.8
19.3
20.4
22.0
16.9
28.1
38,307
59,787
72,659
80,756
89,031
85,460
69,741
57,046
32,180
31,670
31,940
61,091
61,378
70,676
41,780
63,633
67,960
99,624
126,473
119,874
104,162
111,947
77,840
62,137
22,189
28,813
29,095
28,758
27,284
33,974
38,446
23,880
240,700
341,580
201,480
355,279
375,027
203,420
178,660
123,615
9,940
16,640
15,720
13,686
14,340
17,466
26,925
13,864
24,240
22,420
32,880
63,008
78,155
70,758
115,594
93,013
174,220 518,180 2,073,919
223,600 696,480 2,527,779
147,600 627,360 2,573,505
120,603 1,117,456 3,264,414
84,075 1,301,358 3,829,059
108,154 884,004 3,693,048
192,771 1,001,625 3,990,850
118,534 884,109 3,630,715
25.0
27.6
24.4
34.2
34.0
23.9
25.1
24.4
735,373
820,243
834,379
761,518
657,500
802,439
994,728
771,218
640,920
867,140
774,220
1,321,898
1,454,221
953,994
1,129,259
917,636
415,895
524,118
689,964
833,306
1,330,869
1,475,311
1,479,612
1,523,161
281,731
316,277
274,942
347,692
386,469
461,303
387,250
418,700
19,200
26,720
100,780
302,752
456,371
164,434
173,698
167,946
1,440
240
0
0
2
0
0
0
IA
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Canada Geese
1971–75
29,000
1975–80
34,100
1981–85
68,720
1986–90
153,957
1991–95
154,516
1996–00
121,696
2001–05
97,388
2006–07
110,768
1,145
3,140
2,080
982
733
942
225
5,059
MIb
Total by Flywayc
R3
18,660
27,520
45,480
77,944
84,575
113,026
58,544
65,800
2,220
3,900
14,700
30,227
54,298
85,051
158,044
190,570
101
Totals
WIa
MN
Tundra Swans
1971–75
1976–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
15
1
89
1
0
Trumpeter Swans
1971–75
1976–80
1981–85
1986–90
74
1991–95
45
1996–00
163
2001–05
570
2006–07
191
Mute Swans
1971–75
1976–80
1981–85
1986–90
1991–95
1996–00
2001–05
2006–07
10
1
0
0
0
30
9
24
118
1,432
0
9
52
111
425
27
29
59
46
159
MIb
IA
26
558
1,068
1,057
1,488
0
12
41
36
32
833
1,817
2,590
3,417
6,067
IL
20
1
3
3
1,006
5
3
13
38
129
5
1
7
3
0
IN
10
0
1
21
52
0
0
10
49
78
181
1
24
76
46
OH
0
14
44
18
43
0
0
1
2
6
0
2
14
27
114
MO
52
155
151
555
1,727
0
2
5
25
55
23
21
37
72
94
102
Region 3
Total by Flywayc
R3
U.S.
%
Atlantic Mississippi
0
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
153
738
1,381
1,774
5,747
129,466
122,772
155,980
148,298
151,951
196,223
181,393
193,202
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.5
0.7
1.0
3.0
61,400
70,179
85,411
88,737
89,938
94,822
94,824
79,147
9
4
10
20
104
0
0
0
88
76
294
852
1,019
775
1,246
1,109
1,659
1,357
3,812
6,866
13,737
0.0
0.0
0.0
5.3
5.6
7.7
12.4
7.4
0
4
16
0
12
4
1
0
15
1
5
2
3
0
0
0
1,095
1,874
2,736
3,644
6,482
1,946
2,469
3,872
6,990
9,197
10,779
12,811
14,101
0.0
0.0
0.0
15.7
20.4
25.4
28.4
46.0
1,946
2,467
3,871
5,890
7,318
8,037
9,155
7,607
Central
Pacific
183
743
1,389
1,803
5,795
13
4
1
3
9
6
14
18
68,052
52,590
70,568
59,375
61,261
100,006
84,752
108,242
88
76
294
852
1,019
108
131
186
157
203
242
360
697
666
1,111
908
1,415
1,066
3,272
5,653
12,022
1,095
1,874
2,736
3,647
6,486
0
0
0
0
1
0
5
0
0
2
1
5
4
6
5
9
Totals
MN
Unidentified Swans
1971–75
5
1976–80
15
1981–85
0
1986–90
0
1991–95
23
1996–00
0
2001–05
0
2006–07
0
WIa
MIb
IA
IL
IN
MO
Region 3
0
49
5
0
5
100
0
0
10
5
20
0
50
5
0
0
5
0
23
76
0
0
7
0
1,844
704
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
10
56
98
0
0
0
0
8
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
16
59
56
164
100
50
145
75
178
193
652
1,876
Total Swans (Tundra, Trumpeter, Mute, and Unidentified)
1971–75
5
0
49
5
0
1976–80
15
0
10
5
20
1981–85
55
65
260
5
35
1986–90
99
57
859
30
191
1991–95
59
49
2,390
5
1
1996–00
252
135
3,699
23
45
2001–05
571
298
6,355
44
203
2006–07
191
2,091
8,291
1,123
273
a
OH
Total by Flywayc
R3
U.S.
0
0
3
15
11
6
165
105
0
0
38
25
1,943
884
170
145
121
454
1,901
5,675
7,465
7,329
0
5
15
24
10
30
34
113
165
105
580
1,335
2,708
4,435
8,213
14,119
132,356
126,632
161,677
157,401
164,387
216,489
208,536
228,351
%
96.8
72.4
0.0
0.0
2.0
0.4
26.0
12.1
Atlantic Mississippi
Central
Pacific
0
0
0
0
2
783
269
1,458
170
145
0
0
38
26
1,943
884
0
0
0
0
4
8
16
6
0
0
121
454
1,857
4,858
5,237
4,982
0.1 63,346
0.1 72,650
0.4 89,297
0.8 94,627
1.6 97,270
2.0 103,647
3.9 104,249
6.2 88,211
170
145
595
1,366
2,713
4,445
8,245
14,172
122
135
187
159
217
255
395
721
68,718
53,703
71,598
61,249
64,188
108,142
95,647
125,248
MWI not completed in Wisconsin in 2004.
b
MWI not completed in Michigan in 1993.
MWI was incomplete in some states during some years, thus individual year data are not comparable and 5-year blocks were used to improve estimates of Region 3 proportions. Surveys were
incomplete during the following years: Atlantic Flyway - New York 1996 and 1997, Connecticut and New York 2000, Florida 2001 and 2003–07, and Vermont 2007; Mississippi Flyway - Illinois and
Louisiana 1993, Wisconsin 1996, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wisconsin 1997, Ohio 1998, and Mississippi 2006; and Pacific Flyway - Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Oregon 2004.
c
103
Appendix E. Potential threats common to breeding, migrating, and wintering
waterfowl in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region.
Category
Habitat
conversion,
especially
grassland and
wetland loss
Threats
Industrial, residential, and
recreational development
Conversion to agriculture
lands
Dredging and channelization
Incompatible natural resource
management
Consumptive use
Subsistence and sport hunting
Non-consumptive
resource use
Recreational disturbance
Commercial/Government
disturbance
Pollution
Urban, municipal, and
industrial pollution
Rural and agricultural
contaminants
Biological
interactions
Invasive plants and animals
(native and exotic)
Disease, pathogens, and
parasites
Modification of
natural processes
Climate change
Grassland management
Information
Fire regime
Habitat fragmentation
Lack of species life history
knowledge
Social attitudes
121
Examples
Roads, housing, and commercial facilities
Golf courses
Ski areas
Cell towers
Wind farms
Shoreline development
Accelerated surface drainage
Cropland expansion
Plantations
Wetland draining or filling
Changes to hydrology, bottom contouring and
substrate manipulation
Prescribed burn patterns or frequency
Untimely wetland/water-level manipulation
Vegetative planting or manipulation
Flooding/dam maintenance and removal
Disturbance to resting or foraging birds
Excessive harvest rate
Boating/fishing and jet-skis
Intense birding or photography
Military training
Heavy equipment operation
Aircraft traffic
Area maintenance
Solid waste
Heavy metals
Atmospheric deposition
Runoff contaminants
Siltation and sedimentation
Pesticides
Herbicides
Nutrient runoff/inputs
Nutrient leaching
Siltation and sedimentation
Introduced plants interrupting management
Introduced competitors
Introduced predators (cats and dogs)
West Nile virus
Leucocytozoonosis
Duck plague
Lead poisoning
Precipitation cycles, intensifying storm events
Loss of surface water
Frequency of mowing
High intensity grazing
Fire suppression
Transportation infrastructure
Lack of management or inappropriate
management
Persecution
Ignorance
Apathy
Appendix F. Interpolating population estimates using data from two large-scale
surveys: the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey and North
American Breeding Bird Survey.
The Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS) is conducted
annually in the mid-continent Prairie and Parkland region, plus the states of Minnesota,
Wisconsin, and Michigan within the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint
Venture (JV) region. Aerial (fixed-wing aircraft) counts of waterfowl on transects of
known area (length x width) are adjusted for visibility bias (Smith 1995, Soulliere and
Chadwick 2003), thus providing a corrected density estimate of “indicated birds” by
species. Although this survey is a useful inventory, it does not extend into large
portions of Minnesota (Figure 1) or the remaining seven states in the JV region which
also contain breeding waterfowl.
Figure 1. Location of aerial spring breeding waterfowl survey transects which are 400-m wide and vary
in length. Dots in Wisconsin and Minnesota represent center points for transects that are 48-km and 8–
58 km long, respectively. Michigan survey routes cross the whole state and dots represent 29-km long
segments within each transect.
The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is distributed across the
whole JV region (Figure 2) and conducted along roadside routes. Bird data collected
provides an index of relative abundance over time by species, with a purpose of
generating population trends. The BBS does not provide estimates of breeding
waterfowl density or total population size, but can provide spatial distribution of
relative abundance at large scales. Results from either survey can be especially useful
for regional planning when displayed with abundance and distribution maps created by
105
data interpolation. This means of predicting information between survey points is often
completed using a technique called kriging (Johnston et al. 2001).
Figure 2. Location of 590 North American Breeding Bird Survey route centers used for interpolating
waterfowl relative abundance in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes region. Routes were only
included if surveys were conducted at least once during 2002–2006 (92 additional routes exist in the
region but were not included).
In an effort to generate population estimates for common breeding waterfowl
species across the whole JV region, we examined the relationship between reported
WBPHS densities and interpolated BBS data. The objective was to determine if
relative abundance, interpolated from BBS, could be converted into density estimates
for the JV area not covered by the WBPHS.
Methods
The most recent five-year blocks of population survey data were gathered from
the WBPHS (2003–2007) and the BBS (2002–2006). Kriging was used to predict
relative bird abundance between BBS survey points using the count value and spatial
106
distribution of each point. This process resulted in a continuous surface of 2.6 km2 (1
mi2) grid cells containing predicted relative abundance values for analysis or display in
a map. In addition, associated standard error (SE) maps representing potential
confidence in the kriging process were also developed.
The relationship between reported WBPHS densities and interpolated BBS
values was tested using regression techniques in Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Office;
Microsoft, Inc., Redmond, WA). A positive relationship between the relative
abundance count and average density was identified for all common breeding species.
However, SE analysis of interpolated BBS data revealed numerous WBPHS data points
occurring in areas of high interpolated standard error. To help improve fit between the
two surveys, data in the upper quartile of standard SE were omitted and a new
regression line was fit to remaining data. Equations developed as a result of the
regression analysis were applied to the interpolated BBS data and population estimates
were generated by summing the values of predicted birds for all cells within each state
and Bird Conservation Region (BCR).
Although initial equations performed well in states with higher interpolated
BBS count values and reported WBPHS population densities, low density areas of the
JV region appeared to be significantly overestimated due to regression equation y
intercepts above zero. To resolve this overestimation in areas of zero or very low BBS
counts the regression line was fit to the data but forced to pass through zero. The
equation for this line was then applied to the interpolated BBS values and population
estimates were recalculated for all states and BCRs. Finally, landscapes that were
classified as “developed” (typically urban with little water) in the 2001 National Land
Cover Dataset were removed before estimates were totaled.
The regression equation generated from the data-relationship following these
adjustments appeared to underestimate populations in states with higher densities of
birds based on the WBPHS. However, the population estimate more closely
represented estimates from expert opinion in states with lower densities of breeding
ducks. Therefore, the interpolation technique (intercept 0 regression equation) was
considered acceptable to estimate populations of common breeding waterfowl in states
and BCRs not included in the WBPHS. Conversely, the WBPHS was used to generate
population estimates in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and BCR 12 and 23.
Results
Interpolated BBS abundance and distribution maps were created for the four
species of waterfowl most commonly breeding in the JV region: Mallard, Blue-winged
Teal, Wood Duck, and Canada Goose. Areas of the JV region with high potential error
in abundance interpolation were fairly similar for each species (Figure 3). Large gaps
between survey points where BBS routes were not conducted or do not exist (Figure 2)
resulted in higher SE and reduced confidence in predicted values on abundance maps.
Thus, population estimates in areas with greater SE are less reliable. Much of Iowa, the
area surrounding Saginaw Bay in Michigan, and parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota,
107
and Missouri had consistently higher error due to limited route coverage for a given
species. Caution is the rule when using estimates generated in high SE areas.
Figure 3. Maps with interpolated abundance and relative count values (left) plus potential error and
associated standard error values (right) based on average North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS)
counts during 2002–2006. Relative abundance values are not bird density; they are part of the BBS
index process and used in this strategy with the annual Waterfowl Spring Population and Habitat Survey
(WSPHS) to generate population estimates in areas of the JV region where the WSPHS is not conducted.
108
Figure 3. Continued.
All species had positive relationships between WBPHS density and interpolated
BBS relative abundance. However, data fit to the regression line was generally poor
(Figure 4) and confidence in estimate accuracy is reduced with lower R2 values.
Population estimates derived from the interpolation technique were lower in
most instances than estimates from the WBPHS in areas where the surveys overlapped
(Tables 1–4). Population estimates used for State x BCR areas and the calculation of
habitat objectives were based on the WBPHS if available and the interpolation
technique in the remainder of the JV region lacking density estimates. The process
109
resulted in population estimates for the entire JV region of 1,075,500 Mallards, 327,800
Blue-winged Teal, 614,100 Wood Ducks, and 805,500 Canada Geese.
Various approaches were used to improve the fit between WBPHS and BBS
data including: using polynomial equations, correcting for observer bias in BBS data,
and analyzing on a state by state basis. While the relationship between the two survey
data sets slightly improved with most techniques, it also complicated the population
extrapolation approach. At this time the simpler process of using linear regression was
selected, but adjusting BBS counts for observer bias appears to be a potential means for
improving population estimates. There is some evidence routes within open landscapes
(high visibility) have relatively higher counts compared to those in more forested
landscapes. Considerable time will be needed to evaluate and then complete
adjustments to the population estimation technique.
Average survey density
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
35
30
y = 0.8687x
25
R = 0.1503
30
2
20
25
y = 3.3044x
20
R = 0.1544
2
15
15
10
10
5
5
0
0
0
5
10
15
20
25
0
Average survey density
Wood Duck
2
3
4
5
Canada Goose
25
30
y = 1.8379x
20
1
y = 0.1431x
25
2
R = 0.081
2
R = -0.2949
20
15
15
10
10
5
5
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
Average BBS relative abundance
0
50
100
150
Average BBS relative abundance
Figure 4. Relationship between values from interpolated average BBS relative abundance (2002–2006)
and average densities from WBPHS (2003–2007). The solid regression line best represents the
relationship (fit) between the two data sets whereas the dashed line represents the best fit with the yintercept passing through 0; the equation and R2 values represent the line through 0.
110
Table 1. Mallard population estimates in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture
region based on the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey and the North American
Breeding Bird Survey.
Estimation method
WBPHSb
State/BCR
Density
area (km2) (birds/km2) Estimate
Statea
BCR
Estimate usedd
Interpolationc
Iowa
22
107,870
37,890
37,890
23
7,244
2,802
2,802
Total
115,114
40,692
40,692
Illinois
22
123,604
55,965
55,965
23
3,388
3,010
3,010
24
18,449
2,494
2,494
Total
145,441
61,469
61,469
Indiana
22
44,726
42,660
42,660
23
13,170
20,360
20,360
24
35,472
9,785
9,785
Total
93,368
72,805
72,805
Kansas
22 / Total
65,954
5,085
5,085
Michigan
12
87,568
1.38
120,844
31,088
120,844
22
4,144
4,652
4,652
23
58,820
2.62
154,108
62,586
154,108
Total
216,486
98,325
279,604
Minnesota
12
82,674
1.90
157,080
90,308
157,080
22
7,751
10,950
10,950
23
26,089
3.35
87,398
64,385
87,398
Total
116,515
165,643
255,428
Missouri
22 / Total
82,792
6,843
6,843
Nebraska
22 / Total
22,149
6,571
6,571
Ohio
13
21,757
21,682
21,682
22
52,338
41,469
41,469
24
1,810
418
418
28
30,504
8,651
8,651
Total
106,409
72,221
72,221
Wisconsin
12
46,337
1.10
50,971
40,670
50,971
22
1,491
3,244
3,244
23
97,507
2.23
217,441
154,451
217,441
Total
145,335
198,365
271,656
All States
12
216,579
162,065
328,895
13
21,757
21,682
21,682
22
512,821
215,330
215,329
23
206,217
307,593
485,119
24
55,731
12,698
12,697
28
30,504
8,651
8,651
Total
1,043,608
728,019
1,072,373
a
Population totals are for only JV portions of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
b
Spring population estimates based on average densities determined from the WBPHS (2003–2007) in
each state and BCR multiplied by the area within the State and BCR boundary. In Michigan, BCR 12
densities are from “northern forested” survey segments (north portion of state) and BCR 23 densities
are from “farm-urban” survey segments (south portion).
c
Estimates generated from the relationship between average N.A. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) counts
(2002–2006) and average bird densities determined with the WBPHS (2003–2007). Interpolation
(kriging) applied to BBS counts were adjusted to reflect densities across the JV region; the
relationship equation developed with data from the two surveys was fit with the y-intercept set to 0.
d
Population estimate used for Joint Venture habitat planning. WBPHS estimates were used when
present.
111
Table 2. Blue-winged Teal population estimates in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint
Venture region based on the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey and the North
American Breeding Bird Survey.
Estimation method
WBPHSb
State/BCR
Density
Statea
BCR
Estimate usedd
area (km2) (birds/km2) Estimate
Interpolationc
Iowa
22
107,870
14,018
14,018
23
7,244
188
188
Total
115,114
14,206
14,206
Illinois
22
123,604
5,044
5,044
23
3,388
67
67
24
18,449
275
275
Total
145,441
5,386
5,386
Indiana
22
44,726
2,608
2,608
23
13,170
1,262
1,262
24
35,472
141
141
Total
93,368
4,010
4,010
Kansas
22 / Total
65,954
1,554
1,554
Michigan
12
87,568
0.04
3,502
3,694
3,502
22
4,144
0
0
23
58,820
0.05
2,941
4,118
2,941
Total
216,486
7,812
6,443
Minnesota
12
82,674
0.38
31,416
29,793
31,416
22
7,751
2,957
2,957
23
26,089
3.53
92,094
31,104
92,094
Total
116,515
63,854
126,467
Missouri
22 / Total
82,792
164
164
Nebraska
22 / Total
22,149
4,295
4,295
Ohio
13
21,757
3
3
22
52,338
0
0
24
1,810
0
0
28
30,504
0
0
Total
106,409
3
3
Wisconsin
12
46,337
0.36
16,681
8,466
16,681
22
1,491
688
688
23
97,507
1.50
146,260
31,625
146,260
Total
145,335
40,779
163,629
All States
12
216,579
41,952
51,599
13
21,757
3
3
22
512,821
31,327
31,327
23
206,217
68,365
242,812
24
55,731
416
416
28
30,504
0
0
Total
1,043,608
142,063
326,157
a
Population totals are for only JV portions of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
b
Spring population estimates based on average densities determined from the WBPHS (2003–2007) in
each state and BCR multiplied by the area within the State and BCR boundary. In Michigan, BCR 12
densities are from “northern forested” survey segments (north portion of state) and BCR 23 densities
are from “farm-urban” survey segments (south portion).
c
Estimates generated from the relationship between average N.A. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) counts
(2002–2006) and average bird densities determined with the WBPHS (2003–2007). Interpolation
(kriging) applied to BBS counts were adjusted to reflect densities across the JV region; the
relationship equation developed with data from the two surveys was fit with the y-intercept set to 0.
d
Population estimate used for Joint Venture habitat planning. WBPHS estimates were used when
present.
112
Table 3. Wood Duck population estimates in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint
Venture region based on the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey and the North
American Breeding Bird Survey.
Estimation method
WBPHSb
State/BCR
Density
Statea
BCR
Estimate usedd
area (km2) (birds/km2) Estimate
Interpolationc
Iowa
22
107,870
43,239
43,239
23
7,244
1,698
1,698
Total
115,114
44,937
44,937
Illinois
22
123,604
45,282
45,282
23
3,388
1,327
1,327
24
18,449
9,337
9,337
Total
145,441
55,946
55,946
Indiana
22
44,726
21,297
21,297
23
13,170
10,663
10,663
24
35,472
14,835
14,835
Total
93,368
46,795
46,795
Kansas
22 / Total
65,954
17,183
17,183
Michigan
12
87,568
0.72
63,049
15,445
63,049
22
4,144
2,354
2,354
23
58,820
0.88
51,762
44,501
51,762
Total
216,486
62,300
117,165
Minnesota
12
82,674
0.88
72,753
57,376
72,753
22
7,751
7,144
7,144
23
26,089
2.24
58,439
41,472
58,439
Total
116,515
105,992
138,336
Missouri
22 / Total
82,792
27,268
27,268
Nebraska
22 / Total
22,149
13,863
13,863
Ohio
13
21,757
4,793
4,793
22
52,338
18,361
18,361
24
1,810
349
349
28
30,504
4,896
4,896
Total
106,409
28,399
28,399
Wisconsin
12
46,337
0.63
29,192
18,293
29,192
22
1,491
1,642
1,642
23
97,507
0.94
91,657
60,906
91,657
Total
145,335
80,841
122,491
All States
12
216,579
91,114
164,994
13
21,757
4,793
4,793
22
512,821
197,633
197,633
23
206,217
160,567
215,546
24
55,731
24,521
24,521
28
30,504
4,896
4,896
Total
1,043,608
483,524
612,383
a
Population totals are for only JV portions of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
b
Spring population estimates based on average densities determined from the WBPHS (2003–2007) in
each state and BCR multiplied by the area within the State and BCR boundary. In Michigan, BCR 12
densities are from “northern forested” survey segments (north portion of state) and BCR 23 densities
are from “farm-urban” survey segments (south portion).
c
Estimates generated from the relationship between average N.A. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) counts
(2002–2006) and average bird densities determined with the WBPHS (2003–2007). Interpolation
(kriging) applied to BBS counts were adjusted to reflect densities across the JV region; the
relationship equation developed with data from the two surveys was fit with the y-intercept set to 0.
d
Population estimate used for Joint Venture habitat planning. WBPHS estimates were used when
present.
113
Table 4. Canada Goose population estimates in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint
Venture region based on the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey and the North
American Breeding Bird Survey.
Estimation method
WBPHSb
State/BCR
Density
Statea
BCR
Estimate usedd
area (km2) (birds/km2) Estimate
Interpolationc
Iowa
22
107,870
74,394
74,394
23
7,244
3,502
3,502
Total
115,114
77,896
77,896
Illinois
22
123,604
56,898
56,898
23
3,388
1,588
1,588
24
18,449
3,945
3,945
Total
145,441
62,431
62,431
Indiana
22
44,726
29,815
29,815
23
13,170
8,669
8,669
24
35,472
9,500
9,500
Total
93,368
47,984
47,984
Kansas
22 / Total
65,954
13,951
13,951
Michigan
12
87,568
0.65
56,919
22,945
56,919
22
4,144
2.56
10,608
2,938
10,608
23
58,820
2.21
129,992
32,712
129,992
Total
216,486
58,594
197,519
Minnesota
12
82,674
0.65
53,738
103,266
53,738
22
7,751
4,324
4,324
23
26,089
3.12
81,398
56,143
81,398
Total
116,515
163,732
139,460
Missouri
22 / Total
82,792
33,994
33,994
Nebraska
22 / Total
22,149
8,332
8,332
Ohio
13
21,757
14,491
14,491
22
52,338
29,356
29,356
24
1,810
297
297
28
30,504
6,574
6,574
Total
106,409
50,719
50,719
Wisconsin
12
46,337
0.39
18,071
19,935
18,071
22
1,491
2,099
2,099
23
97,507
1.57
153,086
93,913
153,086
Total
145,335
115,946
173,256
All States
12
216,579
146,145
128,728
13
21,757
14,491
14,491
22
512,821
256,100
263,770
23
206,217
196,526
378,235
24
55,731
13,742
13,742
28
30,504
6,574
6,574
Total
1,043,608
633,579
805,541
a
Population totals are for only JV portions of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska.
b
Spring population estimates based on average densities determined from the WBPHS (2003–2007) in
each state and BCR multiplied by the area within the State and BCR boundary. In Michigan, BCR 12
densities are from “northern forested” survey segments (north portion of state) and BCR 23 and BCR
22 densities are from “farm-urban” survey segments (south portion).
c
Estimates generated from the relationship between average N.A. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) counts
(2002–2006) and average bird densities determined with the WBPHS (2003–2007). Interpolation
(kriging) applied to BBS counts were adjusted to reflect densities across the JV region; the
relationship equation developed with data from the two surveys was fit with the y-intercept set to 0.
d
Population estimate used for Joint Venture habitat planning. WBPHS estimates were used when
present.
114
Literature Cited (Appendix F only)
Johnston, K., J. M. Ver Hoef, K. Krivoruchko, and N. Lucas. 2001. Using ArcGIS
Geostatistical Analyst. ESRI tutorial.
http://training.esri.com/acb2000/showdetl.cfm?DID=6&Product_ID=808.
NLCD. 2001. National Land Cover Data. http://www.mrlc.gov
Smith, G. W. 1995. A critical review of the aerial and ground surveys of breeding
waterfowl in North America. Biological Science Report 5, U.S. Department of
Interior, Washington D.C. USA.
Soulliere, G. J., and S. B. Chadwick. 2003. Using helicopter sampling to estimate
visibility bias on the Michigan spring waterfowl survey. Michigan Department
of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division Report 3408.
115
Appendix G. Estimated duration of stay (use-daysa) for waterfowl occurring in
the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture (JV) region during
the non-breeding season.
Migration
Spring
Fall
Group and species
Winterb
Source
Geese
45
17
90
Snow Goose, Greater Race
Maisonneuve and Bedard 1992 (F)
45
15
90
Snow Goose, Lesser Race
45
15
90
Cackling Goose
90
90
90
Canada Goose, Giant
55
60
75
Canada goose, Interior
Tacha et al. 1991 (S, F, W)
Swans
90
90
90
Mute Swan (Feral)
90
90
90
Trumpeter Swan (Interior)
25
22
0
Tundra Swan (Eastern)
Petrie and Wilcox 2003 (S, F, W)
Dabbling and perching ducks
30
15
0
Gadwall
30
15
0
American Wigeon
45
15
90
American Black Duck
45
28
90
Mallard
Bellrose and Crompton 1970 (F)
30
15
0
Blue-winged Teal
30
15
0
Northern Shoveler
45
15
90
Northern Pintail
45
15
0
Green-winged Teal
30
15
90
Wood Duck
Diving and stiff-tailed ducks
90
45
15
Canvasback
45
15
90
Redhead
30
15
90
Ring-necked Duck
45
15
90
Greater Scaup
30
15
90
Lesser Scaup
30
15
90
Ruddy Duck
Sea ducks
45
15
90
Common Eider
45
15
90
Surf Scoter
90
45
15
White-winged Scoter
45
15
90
Black Scoter
45
15
90
Long-tailed Duck
45
15
90
Bufflehead
45
15
90
Common Goldeneye
45
15
90
Hooded Merganser
45
15
90
Common Merganser
45
15
90
Red-breasted Merganser
a
Unless documentation suggested a different duration of stay, a default estimate of days was used: spring
early migrants = 45; spring late migrants = 30; fall migrants = 15; winter and residents = 90.
b
Only species recorded during the Mid-winter Inventory (MWI) in recent years were included (i.e., on
average >1% of the individuals for that species were observed in FWS Region 3 during continental
MWI, 1994–2003).
116
Literature Cited (Appendix G only)
Bellrose, F. C., and R. D. Crompton. 1970. Migration behavior of Mallards and Black
Ducks as determined from banding. Illinois Natural History Bulletin 30:167–
234.
Maisonneuve, C., and J. Bedard. 1992. Chronology of autumn migration by Greater
Snow Geese. Journal of Wildlife Management 56:55–62.
Petrie, S. A., and K. L. Wilcox. 2003. Migration chronology of Eastern-Population
tundra swans. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81:861–870.
Tacha, T. C., A. Wolf, W. D. Klimstra, and K. F. Abraham. 1991. Migration patterns of
the Mississippi Valley Population of Canada Geese. Journal of Wildlife
Management 55:94–102.
117

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