James and Hudson Bays Molting Black Scoter Survey

Project Number: 82
Year Funded: 2013
Lead Institution(s): Canadian Wildlife Service
Project Lead: Shannon Badzinski
Collaborator(s): Ken Ross (CWS), Shawn Meyer (CWS), Ken Abraham (TU), Rod Brook (TU), Richard Cotter (CWS), Francois Bolduc (CWS), Christine Lepage (CWS), Steve Earsom (USFWS)
Location: Quebec
Focal Species: Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)
Project Description: The primary target species for this survey is the eastern component of the Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) population in North America; specifically, adult males (primarily) undergoing remigial moult along the coastlines of James Bay and Hudson Bay. Black Scoters form major concentrations offshore along the coastlines of James / Hudson Bay, most notably along the western James Bay coast of Ontario, where it is suspected that as much as two thirds of the adult male component of the eastern population may gather during summer to undergo feather moult. Previous surveys have shown that western James Bay and Hudson Bay offer critically important molting habitat for eastern Black Scoter. Given the traditional annual use of areas, large numbers and concentrations of individuals and presumed stability of flocks during the flightless period, a survey conducted during the moulting period may provide an ideal opportunity for monitoring the abundance and distribution of the eastern Black Scoter population. This survey also can assist with developing (minimum) population size estimates needed for conservation planning and determining more localized areas within James or Hudson Bay that may be important for birds so present and future threats can be identified and mitigated. Ultimately, it is hoped, that a long–term, ongoing operational survey of moulting Black Scoters at James Bay and Hudson Bay can be established to help inform conservation of Black Scoter (and possibly other sea ducks) by providing data needed to determine population size, track changes in spatial distributions of birds and possibly monitor population trends.
Project Reports:  https://seaduckjv.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/SDJV-PR82-Badzinski-annrpt-FY13.pdf
James and Hudson Bays Molting Black Scoter Survey