To address important information gaps about sea ducks, particularly in the face of increasing demands for hunting and increased interest in offshore energy development, the Sea Duck Joint Venture partnership launched an ambitious, large-scale satellite telemetry study of sea ducks in the Atlantic Flyway. From 2009 to 2014, more than 300 implantable satellite transmitters were deployed on sea ducks along the Atlantic coast and in Lake Ontario. Ducks were captured using a variety of techniques, including mist-netting, net-gunning, and night-lighting.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) uses avian radar along with multiple other methods to monitor bird and bat migration along the shorelines of the Great Lakes (http://www.fws.gov/radar/radarunits/index.html). Mobile avian radar units have been stationed around the Great Lakes since 2011. These radar units track birds and bats as they fly through the air.
Refuge staff photographed one unit of Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) using a handheld digital single-lens reflex camera from a helicopter. The flight produced hundreds of oblique angle aerial images. Images were stitched together in flight lines using Adobe Photoshop, then georeferenced and rectified using ArcGIS. The rectified images were then seamlessly mosaicked to create a single aerial image of the unit. The photographs were taken at an extreme high tide to depict where water was pooling on the refuge, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The developed image is
Light detection and ranging (lidar) acquired for Camas National Wildlife Refuge was used to create models of the current water regime and explore possible changes in water control structures within the refuge boundary. Flood models of the current structure were generated from the lidar data showing how seasonal flooding inundated the refuge around Camas Creek. Certain dikes selected by refuge staff were then removed from the models to determine if deconstruction of dikes was a viable option for water management across the landscape. The refuge adopted the removal of dikes based on the mo
Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) populations are declining throughout most of Alaska but remain a valuable resource for subsistence, sport, and commercial harvests. Traditional ecological knowledge indicates that the spawning distribution of Chinook salmon has shifted from tributaries to the main stem, with significantly more Chinook salmon spawning in the main stem than in tributaries. The goal of this project is to describe physical factors influencing Chinook salmon spawning habitat availability and distribution, which may influence overall abundance.
Southwest semidesert grasslands are highly affected by a century of livestock grazing, disruption of historical fire regimes, prolonged drought, and non-native plant invasions. The USFWS has sought to rehabilitate semidesert grasslands in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. Prescribed burns have been used extensively for the past three decades to enhance habitat conditions and restore grassland fire regimes.
This project addresses unauthorized grazing by cattle on two islands (Wosnesenski and Chirikof) within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was established in 1980 to conserve marine mammals, seabirds, and other migratory birds, and the marine resources upon which they rely. Wosnesenski and Chirikof Islands have sustained severe impacts to wildlife habitat, native vegetation, and archaeological sites from grazing by unauthorized cattle left behind when ranchers left the islands years ago.
A lidar dataset is providing a high-resolution digital elevation model for modeling various natural resource related issues. The data collection is facilitating the development of models for wetland management and restoration on the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and private lands.
The invasive wetland plant Phragmites australis forms very tall, monotypic, dense stands of reeds that cause massive habitat degradation and biological diversity reduction in Great Lakes wetlands. Early detection and treatment are key to controlling Phragmites. A map of the current distribution and forecast of future expansion is needed to better target control strategies. Previous research comparing hyperspectral and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery showed SAR to be more accurate over a pilot area in St.
Songbird Habitat Modeling Using Lidar and National Agriculture Imagery Program Color Infrared Imagery
The golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo were listed by the USFWS as endangered in 1990 and 1987, respectively. In 1992 the 10,000-ha Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge (BCNWR) was established in Texas to protect habitat for these two species. The warbler occupies later successional stages of oak and Ashe juniper woodland habitat during the breeding season, and the vireo prefers early successional shrublands. Contemporary habitat models for songbirds often lack fine-scale habitat information mapped over large areas.