Spatial and temporal distributions of wintering sea ducks on the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada: population trends and relation to habitat

Project Number: 121
Year Funded: 2009
Lead Institution(s): US Geological Survey
Project Lead: Elise Zipkin
Collaborator(s): Andy Royle (USGS) Emily Silverman (USFWS)
Location: Atlantic Flyway
Focal Species: Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), Black Scoter (Melanitta americana), Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), White-winged Scoter (Melanitta delgandi)
Project Description: Little is known about the population trends and habitat preferences of sea ducks wintering along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and Canada. The difficulty in gathering information on sea ducks during the winter is due not only to the relative inaccessibility of their wintering sites, but also their high mobility and patchy, aggregated distributions. In this project, we are analyzing the spatial and temporal wintering distributions of five sea duck species (Black Scoters, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters, Common Eiders and Long-tail Ducks) using the historical Atlantic Flyway Wintering Sea Duck Survey (1991-2002), which have not been previously examined in detail. We built statistical models to relate observed nearshore distributions of sea ducks to important habitat characteristics to determine wintering preferences and distribution trends along the eastern Canadian and U.S. coast.
Project Reports: https://seaduckjv.org/pdf/studies/pr121.pdf
Spatial and temporal distributions of wintering sea ducks on the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada: population trends and relation to habitat