INFORMATION TRANSFER FOR THE ATLANTIC SEADUCK PROJECT LEADING TO WATERFOWL CONSERVATION
Information transfer techniques developed by researchers can help wildlife resource managers in conserving waterfowl in the future. When technical data are transferred to managers and the public, individuals are better able to make wise decisions to protect and enhance wildlife populations and habitats. For example, the location of breeding and molting areas of some species of seaducks, especially scoters, is uncertain and presently being studied by researchers at USGS-Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The migrational paths are of interest, and will help to further extend the knowledge concerning the areas used by scoters during various periods of their life cycle.
Surf and black scoters are captured and instrumented with a PTT100 satellite transmitter. These are manufactured by Microwave Telemetry, Inc. (Columbia, MD), for satellite telemetry. Service Argos, Inc. (Landover, MD) is responsible for the telemetry data. This is a satellite-based system concerned with environmental data dissemination from both mobile and fixed platforms around the globe.
The French Argos system flies aboard the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). This system, which is fully integrated, is then able to provide the Argos users with near real-time data on their remote platforms, and for the purposes of this project, locations of the ducks may be determined. Movements of the seaducks have been presented in a variety of ways.
A website http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/resshow/perry/scoters has been developed, and linked to that of the larger USGS Patuxent homepage. These pages contain Argos data in the form of maps showing all the instrumented ducks, and their locations. This information is updated weekly so that students, the public, and wildlife scientists may continually monitor the movements and habitat locations used by the ducks for staging, breeding, molting, and wintering.
A map on the seaduck website showing the location of a
female surf scoter
Satellite imagery showing regions occupied by the surf
and black scoters in James Bay, Canada
The New York based "Signals of Spring SOS" is collaborating with the Atlantic Seaduck Project as a feature project for student interaction. SOS is funded by NASA and provides students with the opportunity to more fully understand both wildlife and technology. Students and school groups can log on to the SOS website http://www.signalsofspring.net, and obtain a variety of information concerning the ducks and their migration.
Homepage of the Atlantic seaduck project
Editing video of black scoters. The footage was shot in
New Brunswick and Québec, Canada
Habitat in Québec, Canada, consistent with areas used by scoters