Author Topic: 2007 NEW JERSEY MID-WINTER WATERFOWL SURVEY RESULTS  (Read 6348 times)

Meadowmucker

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2007 NEW JERSEY MID-WINTER WATERFOWL SURVEY RESULTS
« on: June 11, 2007, 06:00:33 PM »
2007 NEW JERSEY MID-WINTER WATERFOWL SURVEY RESULTS

Prepared by:
Ted Nichols
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
Waterfowl Ecology and Management Program

"When the plane banks around, open those windows and let some cool air in or we're going to pass out in here."

Where do you think this quote came from: a sauna or summer mute swan survey?  Wrong! It was January 4, 2007 in New Jersey during the Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey (MWS).  On that afternoon, the temperature soared into the mid-60's, and with a cloudless sky and large, bubble windows, the cockpit of the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Partenavia P-68 Observer became like a bake-oven.

During January, the Department of Environmental Protection’s, Division of Fish and Wildlife completed New Jersey’s portion of the Atlantic Flyway MWS.  This survey, designed to track long-term trends of waterfowl species wintering along the Atlantic coast, has been conducted annually during January since 1955. Professional pilots fly Division biologists over important waterfowl wintering areas in the state where these biologists identify and estimate the number of waterfowl sighted.
   
The MWS is conducted simultaneously in all Atlantic Flyway states to measure the abundance and distribution of wintering waterfowl in the flyway. This survey is one of the most important long-term surveys used to monitor the status of waterfowl, particularly American black ducks, Atlantic brant, and tundra swans.  New Jersey is the single most important wintering ground in North America for black ducks and Atlantic brant.

The New Jersey portion of the 2007 MWS was completed December 31 through January 12.  Priority was given first to Atlantic brant wintering areas on the Atlantic coast and to key black duck wintering areas both on the coast and in Delaware Bay marshes. Mild winter temperatures resulted in a complete lack of ice in tidal marshes and relatively little ice in northern New Jersey lakes.  A lack of ice coverage resulted in logging more airtime to get complete segment coverage.

In 2007, 522,967 waterfowl of 29 different species were counted.  This total is 12% below the past 10-year average and 6% below the 2006 MWS.  In an average year, about 15% of the total waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway are counted in New Jersey. Important species where a significant portion of the Atlantic Flyway total are generally counted in New Jersey include: Atlantic brant (65%), black ducks (40%), snow geese (25%), Canada geese (25%), bufflehead (25%), mute swans (20%), mallards (20%), and scaup (10%). The 2007 MWS count in New Jersey for these major waterfowl species with comparisons to their latest 10-year average were as follows: Atlantic brant 67,305 (-30%), black ducks 88,750 (unchanged), snow geese 139,875 (+56%), Canada geese 116,160 (-40%), bufflehead 22,665 (+30%), mute swans 2,087 (+17%), mallards 23,155 (-23%) and scaup 26,310 (-41%). 

The 2007 MWS was conducted at a time when the eastern US was experiencing one of the mildest winters on record.  Species abundance in New Jersey reflected these mild conditions.  For example, green-winged teal, although abundant during the fall migration, tend to be less numerous during the MWS following cold weather events that typically occur by early January.  In 2007, the green-winged teal count (11,485) was a record high.  Likewise, several species of diving ducks that usually are not abundant until significant cold weather occurs (i.e. goldeneye, canvasback, and scaup), were down significantly. Aerial surveys in the Great Lakes revealed above average abundance for these species during January. Also in New Jersey, Canada goose numbers were the lowest observed since 1992 despite the abundance of Resident Population geese and the rebound of Atlantic Population Canada geese.  Reports were that significant numbers of Canada geese remained in southern Canada and other areas to the north that usually see mass exodus of geese by late December.

 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 05:42:44 PM by Meadowmucker »
Regards
John

fishex99

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Re: 2007 NEW JERSEY MID-WINTER WATERFOWL SURVEY RESULTS
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 01:19:29 AM »
All opinion in this matter. Interesting. I think it would be useful to someone many people. Thanks for the info. ;D

fishex99

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Re: 2007 NEW JERSEY MID-WINTER WATERFOWL SURVEY RESULTS
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 01:32:18 AM »
All opinion in this matter. Interesting. I think it would be useful to someone many people. Thanks for the info.