[Ontbirds] Request for assistance: Colour marked scaup

ken.abraham at mnr.gov.on.ca ken.abraham at mnr.gov.on.ca
Thu Apr 1 12:35:55 EST 2004

Dear Ontbirders:


You may know that the North American breeding population of lesser scaup has
declined over the past 2-3 decades and a number of studies are underway to
determine at which point of the life cycle problems may have arisen. In one
study, Louisiana State University researchers (under the direction of Dr. Al
Afton) and numerous cooperators/collaborators are capturing and
color-marking lesser scaup this spring on Pool 19 of the Mississippi River
as part of a spring scaup migration study.  


They are marking "heavy" (above mean body mass) and "light" scaup (below
mean body mass) with 2 different colors of dye and subsequently switching to
2 other colors half-way through the migration period to investigate body
condition effects on timing and rates of movements as well as documenting
migration corridors of scaup from Pool 19 through the Upper Midwest and into


Trapping and marking has just started and as of 16 March 2004, about 100
scaup have been color-marked.  Their goal is to mark a minimum of 3000 scaup
this spring and again next spring.


They expect most observations of color-marked scaup to be in Iowa, Illinois,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota).  The birds may pass
through North-western Ontario also, and though less likely, some may travel
though the lower Great Lakes.


The LSU researchers request the assistance of the public and agency
personnel in reporting observations of color-marked scaup.  People observing
color-marked scaup can report them by phone, fax, email or snail mail.  If
you see a coloured bird, please record the colour, what part is painted, and
the geographical location of the bird. For details on how to report
observations see the link on the Iowa DNR website:
http://www.iowadnr.com/wildlife/ <http://www.iowadnr.com/wildlife/> 


The toll free number for Canada is: 1-866-439-4820 and works for Canadian
area codes only.


Please be on the look out for color-marked scaup this and next spring and
help us spread the word about the project.


Information provided by Dr. Al Afton, LSU.


Posted by Ken Abraham, Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Scientist, Ontario

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