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Title:Modeling Waterfowl Migration Using Radar Imagery 1 March 2009 through 28 February 2010
Author(s):Stafford, Joshua D.; O'Neal, Benjamin J.; Larkin, Ronald P.; Warner, Richard E.
Subject(s):ducks
emigration
Illinois
leading lines
migration
orientation
waterfowl
weather
weather surveillance radar
United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Abstract:The spatial and temporal patterns of migration substantially influence the ecology and conservation of ducks. For the most part though, the processes that affect when a duck leaves and where it goes remain poorly understood due to the difficulty of investigating movements that occur over large spatial scales, at substantial heights and at night. We recently demonstrated how weather surveillance radar (WSR) can be used to detect and identify migrant ducks as they leave isolated stopovers. Herein, we apply WSR to monitor the egress of ducks from a wetland complex along the Illinois River during the falls of 1995–2009, and examine the effect of weather on the presence or absence of migration among nights. An evaluation of competing models indicated following winds aloft, no precipitation, less cloud cover, decreasing temperatures, increasing barometric pressure and date best predicted emigration (R2 = 0.52). Based on this model, the odds of a duck emigration occurring when winds were following and precipitation was absent were 13.2 to 1.0 (95% CI 7.8–22.4). Upon departure, ducks must endure conditions aloft and orient to another suitable stopover. Though advanced orientation capacities have been documented in other avian taxa, the notion that ducks rely on the leading-lines of rivers for visual orientation has remained a dominant paradigm in waterfowl science. We used WSR to examine departure tracks of duck emigrations from our study area along the Illinois River from 1995 to 2009 and found ducks had a significant SSE directional preference (152°; P < 0.05), which differed significantly in all years from the course of the Illinois River (220°; P≤ 0.001). This pattern was markedly different than the river-oriented route described for ducks departing this site in the mid-20th century. Thus, leading lines appear to have been unimportant for orientation in the majority of duck emigration events from the major stopover area examined here.
Issue Date:2010-04-27
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey
Series/Report:Modeling Waterfowl Migration Using Radar Imagery
Technical Report INHS 2010 (16)
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration W-148-R-3
Genre:Technical Report
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Grant/Contract No: Grant: W-148-R-3
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18195
Sponsor:INHS Technical Report Prepared for United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources
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:2012-08-03


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