Author Topic: September 2009 NJ Duck Banding Report  (Read 5261 times)

Meadowmucker

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September 2009 NJ Duck Banding Report
« on: October 07, 2009, 03:56:28 PM »
Dear duck banding cooperator:
(Addressed to 2 NJWA members (Allen Atheras and John Corney), plus the other 26 Cooperators
 
Now that mid-October is upon us and the waterfowl migration beginning in earnest, the 2009 preseason duck banding period is now history.  We wish to wholeheartedly thank each and every one of you for your efforts which included very early mornings, mosquito bites, and lugging bait into marshes.  With your efforts, we banded 1,266 total ducks.

There were some notable highlights for 2009. First, one of our sites in the heart of Middlesex County reclaimed the top spot which it previously held in 2007 for duck banding accomplishments yielding 317 birds. An additional site in western Gloucester County which has produced well below potential for the past several years surged into third place with 132 ducks banded. One site in Monmouth County that looked as though it would be overrun by Canada geese at the outset, ended up producing 46 ducks. As is the case every year, many of our standard banding stations around the state proved productive while others fell short of expectations for various reasons.  As a general rule, we did well “in the middle” while sites in North Jersey and deep South Jersey were well below average accomplishments.  Ducks failed to show up entirely at one of our most consistent sites in southern Cape May County. In fact Cape May was probably one our biggest disappointments as it usually ranks in the top 3 counties in banding accomplishments,.  

Middlesex County claimed top honors with 339 ducks banded followed closely by Gloucester County at 298 ducks.  Monmouth County commandingly took third place with 186 ducks followed by Atlantic and Morris each with about 140 birds.  

Preseason duck banding operations were completed between 1 July and 30 September. Preseason banding is conducted during this period since banding locally breeding and hatched ducks is a major objective of this monitoring program.  Marking local ducks allows for the derivation of harvest or specific harvest rate analyses by geographic breeding region. The majority of preseason duck banding effort is targeted at mallards since their population status drives duck hunting regulations in North America.  In the Atlantic Flyway, Adaptive Harvest Management models for eastern mallards are currently being used to guide duck harvest management decisions.  These models are largely dependent on mallard recovery data derived from banding.

The number of people involved in making this program a success is quite impressive and includes public and private landowners who graciously allow access to their lands, volunteers who bait and monitor the sites, and the technicians who do the majority of the banding. This group of folks, including Division Waterfowl Program personnel, along with Division Wildlife Conservation Corps Volunteers, US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge personnel, and other federal, state, county, and local cooperators, banded a total of 1,266 ducks.  

This total included 1,145 mallards, 31 American black ducks, 13 mallard X black duck hybrids, 75 wood ducks, 1 green-winged teal and 1 northern pintail.  An additional 123 previously banded ducks were recaptured of which 122 were mallards.  Although about 35 banding stations were active, ducks were banded at 26 locations in 11 counties from Sussex and Bergen in the north, to Cape May and Atlantic in the south.  The message here is that even if a particular site is not included in one of the “top honors” sites, each site plays an important role in the geographic distribution of the banded sample of birds.  

In the end, we experienced a very good year for mallards with the second highest  banding accomplishment (1,444 in 2005) for mallards at 1,145 birds. This was the seventh consecutive year where we surpassed the 1,000 mallard mark and we exceeded our long term (1993-2008) mean of 870 mallards by 32%.  The preliminary mallard immature to adult ratio during banding was 1.018 and was well above the long-term mean of 0.643.  Since 1993, the mallard immature to adult ratio during banding has ranged from 0.287 (2002) to 1.138 (2007).  2009 was only the third year since 1993 where the immature to adult ratio exceeded 1.0 indicating that 2009 was a good year for breeding mallards.

Although we did well with mallards, there is always room for improvement for other species, particularly wood ducks. Other areas where we can improve are to identify new banding stations in the key counties of Ocean, Salem, and Burlington where we are currently banding well below potential, given the rich waterfowl resource in these counties.

As many of you are aware, we collaborated with USDA-Wildlife Services to conduct a surveillance program for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) type H5N1 during preseason banding operations. The 2 agencies sampled 128 mallards, 8 wood ducks, and 1 black duck at 12 sites in 5 counties from Atlantic to Middlesex. All samples tested negative for HPAI H5N1. To date, HPAI H5N1 has not been detected anywhere in North America.  Sample collection will continue this fall and winter with additional species of shorebirds and waterfowl.

Again, I wish to thank each of you for donating your valuable time in making the 2009 banding season a success. Given your time and energy expenditure, I hope that you found the experience fulfilling and we hope to work with each of you again in 2010.
 
Ted Nichols
Waterfowl Ecology and Management Program
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
2201 County Rte. 631
Woodbine, NJ 08270
Phone: 609-628-3218
Fax: 609-628-2734
tnichols@hughes.net
Visit our Agency web site: njfishandwildlife.com

Background:  The bait sites are maintained annually during the month of September.  The process is to bait the traps every 2 days (wire traps, drop net traps and rocket net traps).  When the birds work the site and are 'on the corn', then the wire traps are locked up and the next day are banded by Division Biologists.  The drop net and rocket net sites are worked in the same manner except the banding personnel are there in the dark.  When there are birds under the nets, they are dropped and banding begins.  My best day with a wire trap, back in 2007, was 65 birds!

Make a note for next September - To Be A Cooperator!  It is a Worthwhile Endevor to give back to the Sport.  I've done it annually since 2004 and enjoyed every year
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 04:01:27 PM by Meadowmucker »
Regards
John

redman

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Re: September 2009 NJ Duck Banding Report
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 02:44:05 PM »
Ted;

How do you get on the list for next year?

Red

Meadowmucker

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Re: September 2009 NJ Duck Banding Report
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 04:44:25 PM »
Quote
Ted;

How do you get on the list for next year?

Red
Red ... Send Ted an email - his address is in the post.  BTW, I posted the information, not Ted
Regards
John