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Virtual Scientific Symposium: Ecology and conservation of Yellow Rail - Call for abstracts

Fern Davies

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OF THE YELLOW RAIL (Coturnicops noveboracensis)

* *

Via the Internet, over three, 2.5-hour Sessions

[session I – July 19; Session II – August 16; Session III – September 13]

*Participation Details (Internet and Audio Connections) Will Be Made
Available in July***


JANE AUSTIN, US Geological Survey, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

MARK WOODREY, Mississippi State University and Grand Bay National Estuary
Research Reserve

JENNIFER WHEELER, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Waterbird Conservation for
the Americas

Because of its secretive nature, the Yellow Rail is infrequently
encountered and its ecology poorly known. The second-smallest rail in North
America, it breeds in wet meadows and shallow marshes across Canada east of
the Rockies, northeastern United States and the entire northern US-Canadian
border Great Plains to the Great Lakes. There is a small secluded breeding
colony in Klamath Basin in northern California and a tiny subspecies
population might exist in northern Mexico. Migration patterns are
particularly poorly known, and the bulk of the species winters in marshes
and hay fields in the southeastern U.S. from Texas to the Carolinas. The
species is of concern in many jurisdictions because of its relatively small
population size (threats to breeding and wintering wetland habitats, and evidence for local
declines in several parts of its breeding range. Anthropogenic wetland loss
and degradation are likely the most important threats to the Yellow Rail.
Its breeding habitats are vulnerable to agricultural impacts, water-level
changes, invasive plant species and over-grazing by Snow Geese (Hudson and
James Bay coastlines), while its restricted wintering range is susceptible
to hurricanes and increasing human development. Conservation research and
activities are ongoing in several parts of the range, but more coordination
and collaboration is needed.

This 7.5-hour symposium (conducted in three 2.5-hour sessions) will examine
state of knowledge and identify priority research and management
activities. The long-term objective is to develop the foundation for a
concerted conservation campaign (e.g., creation and implementation of an
action plan.)

*CALL FOR ABSTRACTS* We invite submissions from all researchers and
managers of Yellow Rails in order to 1) synthesize ongoing efforts for
distribution to the broader community and 2) for presentation in a virtual
public symposium, taking place in three sessions this summer. We are
particularly interested in information more recent than that presented in
the 2009 COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Yellow Rail *Coturnicops
noveboracensis* in Canada[1] . Interested parties are asked to
submit abstracts [of less than 300 words, that include a statement of
objectives, brief description of methods, principal results, conclusions
with recommendations for priority research or management activities] to
Jennifer_A_Wheeler@fws.gov by *July 1, 2013*. All abstracts will be
compiled for sharing with participants, with selected individuals invited
to give a 20-min webinar. Selected presenters will be assigned a session
by July 8, 2013.



Jennifer Wheeler

Waterbird Coordinator

Division of Migratory Bird Management

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

4401 North Fairfax Drive, MS-MBSP

Arlington, Virginia 22203

(703) 358-1931 (office)

(703) 358-2217 (fax)



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