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Research Program

Research Program

The primary purpose of the BDJV is to support research on black duck ecology to identify limiting factors and provide management recommendations to guide management.  Since 1989 the BDJV and its partners have provided > $4.3 million to support research on black duck ecology and management.  Results from BDJV supported research have been incorporated into a variety of management activities.

Competitive Grants Current Projects Bibliography

Lieske, D., M. Gloutnery, A. Hanson, R. Milton, K. Connor, R. Dibblee, B. Pollard, and D. Howerter. Black duck population habitat model for Maritime Canada.
Goal: The goal of this project is to develop a model to help identify key habitat factors influencing black duck nesting densities and productivity. The results will inform habitat conservation planning and delivery by the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture. Status: On-going

FY 2010 Progress Report FY 2009 Progress Report

Lieske, D., M. Gloutnery, A. Hanson, R. Milton, K. Connor, R. Dibblee, B. Pollard, and D. Howerter. Evaluating landuse practices and enhancing habitat mapping for the black duck: the role of model fusion in combining predictions from different survey designs.
Goal: Evaluate the relative importance or use of different agriculture practices to breeding black ducks in Maritime Canada by combining survey data from two survey platforms. Status: On-going

McGowen, C. and P. Devers. Integrating black duck habitat and population ecology: development of a decision support tool to guide black duck conservation programs.
Goal: The purpose of this project is to develop an decision support tool (i.e., model) to support adaptive management of black ducks with the goal of increasing the population by increasing continental carrying capacity via habitat conservation and management. Status: On-going

FY 2010 Progress Report FY 2009 Progress Report
Petrie, S., N. North, K. Hobson, P. Ashely. Linking natal and harvest areas of American black ducks using stable isotope analysis.
Goal: The purpose of this project was to gain insight into the spatial structure of the breeding black duck population and important linkages between breeding areas and harvest area. Status: Complete

FY 2009 Final Report
FY 2009 Progress Report
Sauer, J., B. Gardner, G. Zimmerman, and J. A. Royle. Incorporating the Northeastern Waterfowl Survey into a composite spatial analysis of American black duck populations.
Goal: Conservation plans and harvest regulations for the American black duck are based on estimates of the breeding population. Currently, partner agencies conduct three surveys to estimate the breeding population – fixed-wing and helicopter surveys in eastern Canada and ground plot surveys in the northeastern US. The two aerial surveys are currently integrated to produce one estimate of the breeding population. This project will develop methods to integrate the northeast ground plot data into the composite estimate. Status: On-going

Williams, C., and P. Castelli. Incorporating nocturnal behaviors in an American black duck bioenergetics model estimation of carrying capacity.
Goal: Recent research has attempted to build a bioenergetics model for American black ducks to estimate wintering carrying capacity along the Atlantic Flyway. However, there is concern that estimates may be biased due to the large proportion of active feeding behavior that occurs nocturnally. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explicitly evaluate nocturnal black duck behaviors to refine Daily Energy Requirement calculations and improve the bioenergetics model and wintering carrying capacity estimate for the Atlantic Flyway.

FY 2010 Progress Report

Nocturnal Behavior

Yerkes, T., and J. Bowman. Examining local and geographic habitat use patterns over the annual life cycle of the American black duck.
Goal: The identification of migration routes and factors influencing time budgets and distribution during migration is largely unknown and is a priority research need identified by the BDJV. Specifically this research will address this need by 1) Identifying migration routes and potential linkages among wintering, migration (spring and fall) and breeding location; 2) Documenting local habitat use and movement patterns, and examining variation among wintering areas; 3) Documenting geographic habitat use patterns, identifying key migration areas, and examining variation over both spring and fall migration among hens from different wintering areas; and 4) Determining migration chronology, duration of stay and turnover, and examining variation among hens from different wintering areas. Image: Please the Migration Pattersn.jpg image to the right of the title. With the caption “Spring migration routes of adult female American black ducks PTT-tagged in Delaware, New jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia during winter 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 (Anderson, Yerkes, and Bowman 2010, unpublished report). Status: On-going

Progress Report 2010
Progress Report 2009
Progress Report 2008

Yerkes, T., C. K. Williams, M. Eichholz, P. M. Castelli.  Determining food resources and estimating habitat carrying capacity for wintering and spring staging American black ducks in New Jersey and Virginia.
Goal:  Carrying capacity of non-breeding black duck habitat is unknown and a priority need of the BDJV.  The availability of food energy is likely the primary factor limiting populations during winter and spring.  This research will estimate carrying capacity by measuring food resources and habitat use in Virginia and New Jersey.

Final Report 2010 (VA)
Final Report 2009 (NJ)
Progress Report 2009 (VA)
Progress Report 2008 (NJ)
Progress Report 2008 (VA)


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