201 County Route 631

Woodbine, NJ, United States

201 County Route 631

Woodbine, NJ, United States
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Ringelman K.M.,Louisiana State University | Williams C.K.,University of Delaware | Castelli P.M.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Sieges M.L.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management | Year: 2017

The management of wintering North American waterfowl is based on the premise that the amount of foraging habitat can limit populations. To estimate carrying capacity of winter habitats, managers use bioenergetic models to quantify energy (food) availability and energy demand, and use results as planning tools to meet regional conservation objectives. Regional models provide only coarse estimates of carrying capacity because habitat area, habitat energy values, and temporal trends in population-level demand are difficult to quantify precisely at large scales. We took advantage of detailed data previously collected on wintering waterfowl at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding marsh, New Jersey, USA, and created a well-constrained local model of carrying capacity. We used 1,223 core samples collected between 2006 and 2015 to estimate available food. We used species-specific 24-h timeactivity data collected between 2011 and 2013 to estimate daily energy expenditure, morphometrically corrected for siteand day-specific thermoregulatory costs. To estimate population-level energy demand, we used standardized monthly ground-surveys (2005-2014) to create a migration curve, and proportionally scaled that to fit aerial survey data (2005-2014). Crucially, we also explicitly incorporated estimates of variance in all of these parameters and conducted a sensitivity analysis to diagnose the most important sources of variation in the model. Our results indicated that at estimated mean levels of supply (2.34 × 109 kcal) and cumulative demand (3.4 × 109 kcal), refuge resources were depleted before the end of the wintering season. However, at one standard error greater in supply and one standard error less in demand, 1.33 × 109 kcal remained on the landscape at the end of winter. Variation in model output appeared to be driven primarily by uncertainty in food abundance in high marsh habitats. This model allows for relative assessment of biases and uncertainties in carrying capacity modeling, and serves as a framework identifying critical science needs to improve local and regional waterfowl management planning. © 2017, Allen Press. All rights reserved.


Guerena K.B.,University of Delaware | Castelli P.M.,Nacote Creek Research Station | Nichols T.C.,201 County Route 631 | Williams C.K.,University of Delaware
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2012

Disruption associated with nest visits during the hatch period of waterfowl can cause partial abandonment of hatchlings, potentially causing bias in the survival of marked birds. We evaluated the use of a mesh clutch-containment bag to capture and mark entire broods of 151 resident Canada goose (Branta canadensis) nests, prior to hatch, while minimizing observer-caused disruption during brooding. The study was conducted in New Jersey, USA, from April to June 2010. No differences were found in hatch success or the number of hatchlings marked between contained clutches and the control group. Although this technique was not beneficial in studying gosling survival in temperate nesting populations, it may be effective in subArctic nesting conditions where nest visits are conducted using a more invasive approach such as a helicopter. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.


Beston J.A.,University of Delaware | Williams C.K.,University of Delaware | Nichols T.C.,201 County Route 631 | Castelli P.M.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2015

Resident Population Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are a valuable natural resource, but at high densities they create problems by colliding with vehicles, damaging crops, and fouling parks with feces. Effective management of these geese could be improved with knowledge of demographic rates, especially survival. We used band recovery data from 2005 to 2012 to estimate temporally and spatially explicit survival and recovery rates of Atlantic Flyway Resident Population Canada geese. We analyzed the data in Program MARK and found evidence that survival and recovery varied by age, state of banding, and year. We present state-age-year survival, recovery, and harvest rates from all states. Model-averaged estimates of adult survival ranged from 0.62 to 0.87 and had high precision for most states. Estimates of survival of juvenile geese were generally higher than those for adult geese, but they were less precise and more variable among states. Based on estimates of survival and recovery rates, the average annual harvest rate of adult geese was 13.5% and ranged from 3.1% in North Carolina to 20.1% in Pennsylvania, USA. Harvest rates of juvenile geese were not significantly different from those of adult geese and averaged 15.3%. The estimated survival and harvest rates can be incorporated into population models to assess potential effectiveness of various management strategies for Resident Population Canada geese. © 2015 The Wildlife Society.


Beston J.A.,University of Delaware | Beston J.A.,University of Wisconsin - Stout | Williams C.K.,University of Delaware | Nichols T.C.,201 County Route 631 | Castelli P.M.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2016

Highly abundant resident Canada geese (Branta canadensis) cause property damage throughout their range. Effective reduction and management of these populations requires knowledge of their population dynamics and responses to management actions. We used data from New Jersey, USA, and other resident Canada goose populations to produce stage-structured matrix models for resident Canada geese from both urban and rural landscapes. We ran stochastic simulations to assess 3 management activities for Atlantic Flyway Resident Population Canada geese: harvest, nest treatment, and cull. Unrealistic harvest rates, in excess of 10% for urban geese, would be needed to reduce the urban population to target levels within 10 years in the absence of other management activities. Nest treatment to prevent hatching is less controversial than culling adults, but as many as 62% of eggs in urban areas would need to be treated annually to sufficiently reduce the mean stochastic population growth rate. Cull would be the most effective way to achieve the population goal, but current cull rates are insufficient to reduce the urban population. Although reduction of urban geese was a challenge, current management activities in rural populations appeared to be sufficient to reduce populations. We also provide a simple spreadsheet tool for managers who want to explore management options for other resident Canada goose populations by inserting relevant vital rate estimates for their populations and manipulating management activities. © The Wildlife Society, 2016.


Beston J.A.,University of Delaware | Nichols T.C.,201 County Route 631 | Castelli P.M.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Williams C.K.,University of Delaware
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2014

Atlantic Flyway Resident Population Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are long-lived birds that were established during the mid-1900s. At high densities, resident Canada geese reduce water quality, impair landscape aesthetic, damage crops, and cause safety concerns. Managers need information about survival to more effectively manage these populations via implementation of harvest and cull regulations. We analyzed records for 39,711 Canada geese captured 54,309 times during 1994-2011, of which 5,883 were recovered by the summer of 2012. We used the Burnham model to estimate survival, recapture rate, recovery, and fidelity and identify factors that affect them. Candidate models included combinations of sex, age class, year, hunting season length, bag limit, total harvest, number culled, the North Atlantic Oscillation Index, density, an indicator for urban banded birds, and percent agriculture, natural, rural, and urban land cover at the last known capture location. The best-supported model included effects of age class, year, and whether the individual was banded in an urban or rural locale on survival and effects of year and locale on Seber recovery rate. We used it to construct a hierarchical model to estimate mean survival and Seber recovery rates for urban and rural birds and their variances. Mean survival of after-hatch-year urban Canada geese was 0.724 (95% CI: 0.675-0.772) and that of after-hatch-year rural geese was 0.718 (0.665-0.770). Based on estimates of survival and recovery, mean harvest rate was 3.8% (3.4-4.2%) for after-hatch-year urban geese and 7.8% (6.7-9.0%) for after-hatch-year rural geese. Hatch-year geese in rural areas had lower survival and higher harvest rates than after-hatch-year geese, but the opposite was true in urban areas. Survival generally decreased over the course of the study and harvest increased. Hatch-year males had the lowest fidelity of any group, and after-hatch-year geese of both sexes had fidelity greater than 85%. Knowledge of survival and its relationship with management and environmental factors will allow managers to better predict population responses to harvest and cull and to achieve population goals. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.


Washburn B.E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Elbin S.B.,New York City Audubon | Davis C.,201 County Route 631
Waterbirds | Year: 2016

During the 20th century, gull populations in North America experienced considerable changes in abundance and geographic ranges. The objective of this study was to describe population trends of Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-backed Gulls (L. marinus) in the New York Bight, USA, over a 40-year period (1974-2013). A variety of data sources using different survey methods provided estimates of the number of breeding pairs for both species. In the Long Island portion of the New York Bight, overall Herring and Great Black-backed gull nesting populations appear to have fluctuated considerably in size during this time period, and the largest numbers of breeding individuals of these two species occurred in the 1980s. In coastal New Jersey, the Herring Gull nesting population has remained relatively constant, whereas the Great Black-backed Gull nesting population has increased. Individual nesting colonies are dynamic and can vary in size considerably during even short time periods. Several factors, including sea-level changes and the availability of anthropogenic food sources (i.e., at landfills and fisheries by-catch), likely have strongly influenced individual colonies and the overall Herring and Great Blackbacked gull breeding populations in the New York Bight.


Nichols T.C.,201 County Route 631
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2014

Tidal freshwater marshes of the Maurice River, New Jersey, USA, have been long renowned for robust stands of wild rice (Zizania aquatica). During the 1990s, these marshes experienced an apparent decline in wild rice. During 2000-2002, I used paired fenced exclosures and open control plots to measure herbivory by the Atlantic Flyway Resident Population of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) on wild rice and response of rice to an integrated damage management program (IDMP). The IDMP consisted of rendering goose nests unhatchable, shooting, and culling molting geese. The IDMP reduced the number of goslings by 60% during the first year and essentially eliminated recruitment during the second year. Prior to the IDMP, grazing by geese reduced the density of rice by 78% and the height of plants surviving grazing by 17%. With implementation of an IDMP, rice density between exclosures and control plots did not differ. Wetland managers should consider the grazing impacts that resident population Canada geese can incur on native plant communities and develop a plan for mitigating that damage. © 2014 The Wildlife Society.


Nichols T.C.,201 County Route 631
Wildlife Society Bulletin | Year: 2014

Intensive grazing by Atlantic Flyway Resident Population Canada geese (Branta canadensis) has been shown to dramatically reduce wild rice (Zizania aquatica) abundance in tidal freshwater marshes in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States. From 2001 to 2010, I implemented an integrated damage management program (IDMP) during spring to abate Canada goose herbivory to wild rice in tidal freshwater marshes of the Maurice River, New Jersey, USA. The IDMP consisted of shooting, rendering goose nests unhatchable, and euthanizing molting geese. With implementation of an IDMP, the number of nests on the study area declined 70% over 10 years and the number of geese declined over time. Consequently, the amount of IDMP effort needed to sustain rice was reduced. Because the study area was a key nesting site for ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), which are state-threatened species, there was concern that disturbance from IDMP activities could have a negative impact on osprey nesting or recruitment. The mean annual numbr of nesting ospreys doubled and the mean number of young fledged/nest was similar between years prior to and during implementation of the IDMP, suggesting that the IDMP did not have a negative impact on ospreys. Wetland managers should consider damage from excessive herbivory caused by non-native, breeding waterfowl, such as resident Canada geese or mute swans (Cygnus olor), in their suite of wetland mitigation strategies. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.

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