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Implications of a Changing Great Lakes Ecosystem for Ducks

Program & Abstracts
Session Co-chairs - Scott Petrie, Long Point Waterfowl
                            Tina Yerkes, Ducks Unlimited Inc.

The Great Lakes system contains 20% of the world’s fresh water, sustains an economy for approximately 30 million people, and supports millions of waterfowl throughout their annual cycle. This watershed drains an impressive 201,000 square miles and boasts over 10,000 miles of shoreline, which is greater than the Atlantic and Pacific coasts combined. Conserving waterfowl habitat in this area is wrought with challenges including invasive species, expanding human populations, continued loss and degradation of habitat, and the effects of climate change.

The Great Lakes watershed supports breeding and both spring and fall migrating waterfowl, with estimated peak populations of 1.3 million pairs, 7 million, and 12.8 million respectively. A large and growing overwintering population also uses the area. For instance, over 1 million waterfowl now overwinter on the lower Great Lakes (Ontario, Erie and St. Clair). The current landscape is inadequate to support population goals estimated by the NAWMP. Continued wetland loss and further degradation from the pressure of expanding human populations and the introduction of invasive species are the most important habitat issues resulting in moderate short term and high long term risk to inland and coastal wetlands important to waterfowl. Water quantity and quality issues are emerging and currently pose escalating risks to remaining wetland and water resources.

This plenary session will focus on the latest waterfowl research as it relates to landscape level management of Great Lakes habitats and threats to waterfowl populations that frequent this area. Three invited talks will summarize the state of our knowledge regarding waterfowl issues, science and management for breeding, migrating and over wintering waterfowl that depend upon the Great Lakes watershed and its surrounding habitats. Several contributed papers will focus on new research within the Great Lakes Region. The two objectives for this session are to: 1) Inform NADS5 attendants of the state of waterfowl management and science in Great Lakes via a series of invited papers; and 2) Present new research effecting waterfowl and their management in the Great Lakes via a series of submitted papers.

Plenary 2. Implications of a Changing Great Lakes Ecosystem for Ducks

Oral Presentations - Tuesday afternoon, 18 August 2009




Title and Authors:

1:00 - 1:15


The State of the Great Lakes Watershed, Waterfowl: Future Challenges and Opportunities

Tina Yerkes and Scott A. Petrie

1:15 - 1:30   Changes in Wetland Abundance and Distribution in Michigan: Implications for Breeding and Migrating Waterfowl

John M. Coluccy, Robb Macleod, and Tina Yerkes


1:30 - 1:45


Habitat Characteristics Affecting Settling Patterns of Breeding Waterfowl

in Southern Ontario

David J. Messmer, Scott A. Petrie, and Mark Gloutney


1:45 - 2:00

  Establishing Non-breeding Habitat Objectives for Diving Ducks in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture Region

Gregory J. Soulliere, Bradly A. Potter, and John M. Coluccy


2:00 - 2:15


Spring Migration of Female Scaup Tracked by Satellite from the Lower Great Lakes

Shannon S. Badzinski, Scott A. Petrie, and Glenn H. Olsen


2:15 - 2:30

  Understanding Energetic and Habitat Requirements of Spring Migrating Waterfowl in the Great Lakes

John M. Coluccy, Tina Yerkes, Michael W. Eichholz, Robert J. Gates, Blair Shaman, Joel Sartwell, David A. Graber, and Mark J. Petrie


2:30 - 2:45


Effects of Dietary Selenium on the Health and Survival of Staging and Wintering Lesser Scaup

Caroline Brady, Scott A. Petrie, Robert Bailey, and Shannon S. Badzinski


2:45 - 3:00


Coastal Marsh Management in the Western Lake Erie Basin: Perspectives from the Past, Projections for the Future

Robert J. Gates and Roy W. Kroll

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