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Jane E. Austin

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In 2007, several important initiatives in the North American waterfowl management community called for an integrated approach to habitat and harvest management. The essence of the call for integration is that harvest and habitat management affect the same resources, yet exist as separate endeavours with very different regulatory contexts. A common modelling framework could help these management streams to better understand their mutual effects. Particularly, how does successful habitat management increase harvest potential? Also, how do regional habitat programmes and large-scale harvest strategies affect continental population sizes (a metric used to express habitat goals)? In the ensuing five years, several projects...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildfowl
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This report is a comprehensive analysis of existing observational data (1943–99) and site evaluation data (1977–99) for locations used by whooping cranes (Grus americana) during migration through the United States portion of the Wood Buffalo–Aransas flyway. The apparent migration path, as outlined by the distribution of whooping crane observations, is very similar to that delineated in earlier reports, following a relatively straight line north-northwest from Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to central North Dakota then curving northwest along the Missouri Coteau to the North Dakota–Saskatchewan border. The distribution of spring and fall observations were relatively similar, except for the higher frequency...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The prairie pothole region (PPR) in the north-central United States and south-central Canada constitutes the most important waterfowl breeding area in North America. Projected long-term changes in precipitation and temperature may alter the drivers of waterfowl abundance: wetland availability and emergent vegetation cover. Previous studies have focused on isolated wetland dynamics, but the implications of changing precipitation on managed, river-fed wetlands have not been addressed. Using a structured decision making (SDM) approach, we derived optimal water management actions for 20 years at four river-fed National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in North and South Dakota under contrasting increasing/decreasing (+/−0.4...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Climatic Change
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The endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) historically had a wide distribution that covered diverse ecoregions across North America while retaining consistent habitat preferences within each ecoregion. We reevaluate the historic information compiled by Robert Porter Allen in 1952 and added 74 other records. Based on the ecological features of historic locations relative to crane life history, we revisit Allen’s description of the whooping crane’s niche and identify four features common to breeding and wintering areas: (1) gentle to rolling topography with an interspersion of wetland and prairie habitats, and relatively sparse cover of trees and shrubs; (2) high densities of shallow, open wetlands or wetland...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Cranes have a close relationship with arable and pastoral agriculture that goes back hundreds, presumably thousands of years. The landscapes and ecoregions important to cranes are also those areas most conducive to agriculture. Thus, cranes and humans are attracted to the same landscapes and will therefore have futures that remain co-mingled. As such, agriculture can both benefit and inhibit crane populations. Agriculture can often benefit cranes, such as cropland that provides predictable and concentrated food sources for migrating and wintering birds or grazing that maintains open and productive grasslands that are required by territorial pairs. However, agriculture has changed significantly over the past century...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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