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New Report: Recommendations for Monitoring Midwest Waterfowl During the Non-breeding Season

Chris Merkord

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Habitat conservation planning for migrating and wintering waterfowl is typically based on estimated foraging needs during these non-breeding periods. However, several factors limit the ability to draw strong inferences from the historic Midwest data sets of non-breeding waterfowl abundance collected by wildlife agencies. Survey protocols are not standardized among organizations, a statistically based sampling framework has not been developed, and the financial burden of surveys typically falls on individual agencies, sometimes precluding annual survey completion due to budget constraints. A one-day scientific workshop regarding waterfowl monitoring in the Midwest during migration-staging and winter was held 3 August 2011 in Zion, Illinois, to address these monitoring challenges. The first session included 11 presentations by invited speakers, providing an overview and context for long-term and experimental surveys of non-breeding waterfowl in the Midwest. The second portion of the workshop consisted of regionally based (i.e., Big Rivers vs. Northern Lakes landscapes) “breakout” discussions to critically assess monitoring activities and information needs across two primary ecoregions in the Midwest. Presentations coupled with the structured breakout sessions resulted in valuable information exchange and recommendations to enhance Midwest waterfowl monitoring during the non-breeding period.


(This is a technical report produced by the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture Science Office and resulted from the 2011 Midwest Bird Conservation and Monitoring Conference.)


To download the full report (PDF), click here!

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