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Title:Ecology of Non-Breeding Waterfowl in the Wabash River Region Annual Report 2011
Author(s):Stafford,Joshua D.; Long,Joshua B.; Yetter,Aaron P.; Eichholz,Michael W.; Benson,Thomas J.
Subject(s):Dabbling ducks
Diving ducks
Migration ecology
Spring migration
Aerial surveys
Geographic Coverage:Wabash River region
Abstract:Anecdotal evidence indicated that the Wabash River region of Illinois may provide extensive habitat for spring-migrating waterfowl; however, no information exists on the abundance and distribution these birds in this area. Therefore, we conducted 9 aerial inventories of waterfowl in the Wabash River floodplain bordering Illinois and Indiana between 14 January and 12 April 2011. We recorded locations where >1,000 ducks were present and returned to these sites to record waterfowl behavior. Waterfowl abundance peaked on 8 Feruary at 311,545, although nearly half (140,000) of these were lesser snow geese. During early surveys, most birds congregated on Gibson Lake, a power-plant cooling lake. Birds spread out after ice-out and waterfowl abundance declined to approximately 15,000 to 29,000 during subsequent surveys, before falling to <2,000 on 12 April. Waterfowl spent most time feeding (50.7%), followed by locomotion (21.7 %), comfort movements (11.7%), alert (7.9%), resting (6.7 %), courting (1.0%), and agonistic (0.3%). We will use these data to improve the survey design if appropriate and suggest our preliminary results support the notion that important habitat for spring-migrating waterfowl exists in the Wabash River region.
Issue Date:2011-07-06
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey
Series/Report:Technical Report INHS 2011 (20)
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration W-157-R-1
Genre:Technical Report
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Sponsor:U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service & Illinois Department of Natural Resources Grant: W-157-R-1 Contract Number: RC09-13FWUIUC
Rights Information:This document is a product of the Illinois Natural History Survey, and has been selected and made available by the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-04-15

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