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Joshua T. Ackerman

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Life-history theory predicts that longer-lived, less fecund species should take fewer risks when exposed to predation than shorter-lived, more fecund species. We tested this prediction for seven species of dabbling ducks (Anas) by measuring the approach behavior (behavior of ducks when approaching potential landing sites) of 1099 duck flocks during 37 hunting trials and 491 flocks during 13 trials conducted immediately after the 1999-2000 waterfowl hunting season in California, USA. We also experimentally manipulated the attractiveness of the study site by using two decoy treatments: (1) traditional, stationary decoys only, and (2) traditional decoys in conjunction with a mechanical spinning-wing decoy. Approach...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Condor
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We examined whether radiotransmitters adversely affected the reproductive performance of Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) breeding on the California Channel Islands during 1999-2001. We attached external radiotransmitters to 1 partner in 108 Cassin's auklet pairs after nest initiation and used 131 unmarked, but handled, pairs as controls. Compared to alpha chicks raised by radiomarked pairs, alpha chicks raised by unmarked pairs had faster mass growth rates (1.95 ± 0.30 g d−1 vs. 3.37 ± 0.53 g d−1, respectively), faster wing growth rates (2.46 ± 0.10 mm d−1 vs. 2.85 ± 0.05 mm d−1), greater peak fledging masses (118.9 ± 3.5 g vs. 148.3 ± 2.4 g), and higher fledging success (61% vs. 90%). Fledging success...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
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The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem are recognized regionally, nationally, and hemispherically for their importance as breeding, wintering, and migratory habitat for diverse groups of waterbirds. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and provides critical breeding habitat for more than 60 bird species. However, the Great Salt Lake ecosystem also has a history of both mercury and selenium contamination, and this pollution could reduce the health and reproductive success of waterbirds. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of mercury and selenium contamination to birds breeding within Great Salt Lake, especially at Bear...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Methlymercury is a significant risk to environmental health globally. We examined the ecological drivers of methylmercury bioaccumulation in songbirds and its effect on body condition while experimentally removing the potentially confounding and predominant effects of site and habitat. We measured blood and feather mercury concentrations and body condition in nearly 1200 individuals representing resident or migrant songbirds of 52 species and 5 foraging guilds. Songbird mercury concentrations differed among species, foraging guilds, residency status, dates, and ages, but not sexes. Blood mercury concentrations 1) ranged from 0.003 in house finch to 0.85 μg/g ww in American robin, 2) were 125 times greater in insectivores...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Environmental Pollution
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