U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

Survival and recruitment of Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima

dresseri) in the Gulf of Maine

McAuley DG, Allen RB, Corr PO, Welch L, Benedict B

Banding efforts for common eiders have not been constant over time. Survival and recovery rates

are only available for adult females and there is a need for information on the other age-sex

classes. During the 1970s to mid-1980s there was an effort to band female eiders on a few

islands in Maine. Numbers of adult females banded per year ranged from 120 to 609. Since

then, 0 - 50 birds have been banded each year. Krementz et al. (1996) analyzed banding data

for the Atlantic coast population of eiders and only had sufficient data for the years 1976-1986

for Maine. They found recovery rates were low and survival was high. Because these estimates

are more than 15 years old, harvest has been increasing, and recruitment rate is likely

declining, there is a need to obtain better estimates of survival and recovery rates for eiders. We

selected islands and archipelagos and attempt to capture a majority of the nesting females on

each. Birds are captured by hand nets. Birds are banded with standard USGS bands. Each

year we return to the same islands and band unmarked birds and record bands of previously

banded birds. In addition, we capture pre-fledged ducklings and molting adults of all age/sex

classes using drive traps near islands. This is a joint study with USGS, Maine DIFW, and

USFWS, and is a a long-term banding effort (5 -10 years) to determine survival, recruitment, and

recovery rates of common eiders in the Atlantic coast population, especially Maine. We will

use traditional band analysis methodologies as well as mark-recapture methods. Our total

bandings for the past 4 seasons is 7,416 new birds banded, 638 returns of previously banded

birds and 175 recoveries of dead birds.

Friday, September 22, 2006



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