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Thread: Specklebelly Study

  1. #1
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    Default Specklebelly Study

    Sometimes it's easy to take for granted the waterfowl that we chase. This is a very cool study with incredible findings.


    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/42...DXT36ghQms-TPY

    Greater White-Fronted Goose Journey From Gulf Coast to Arctic Provides Invaluable Data to LDWF Biologists
    Release Date: 05/31/2019



    Yellow line denotes goose's journey from Gulf Coast to Alaska's Arctic North Slope.
    May 31, 2019 - That waterfowl migrate north in the spring is certainly no revelation. But researching the migration patterns of geese and ducks is paramount for biologists to gain a better understanding of these species.

    A female greater white-fronted goose, also known as a spec or speckle belly, tagged in southwest Louisiana by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists in November of 2018 helped open the window into the incredible journey the birds make.

    The goose trekked more than 5,470 miles over the course of eight weeks on her spring migration, starting near the Texas-Mexico border to Alaska’s Arctic North Slope region, said biologist Paul Link, LDWF’s North American Waterfowl Management Plan Coordinator.

    “And that doesn’t account for all the daily foraging flights she made,’’ said Link, who captured and tagged the bird on Nov. 22, 2018. “It’s crazy to think she racked up more than 11,000 miles on her annual migration. Amazing birds. Amazing technology unlocking their mysteries.’’

    The tagged goose is part of an LDWF study in which the primary goal is to determine use of habitats by white-fronts in Louisiana then look at status and trends of those habitats over time. Link started the project in 2015 and is collaborating with other scientists to assess other aspects of the data.

    White-fronts making this migration is nothing new. Band recovery data has documented this for decades and LDWF radio-marked birds have selected this area in previous years. What makes this individual bird’s trip so impressive is that it was tracked in near real time.

    New cell towers being constructed in Arctic villages and research stations enabled two data transmissions on this bird’s spring migration. Normally that data wouldn’t be retrieved until the bird initiated fall migration and hit cell service somewhere in Prairie Canada.

    The transmitters gather more data than just a spot on a map.

    “The data these transmitters collect is just phenomenal,’’ Link said. “They collect everything from the air temperature and the percentage of cloud cover to the barometric pressure from the nearest weather station as well as accelerometer (how fast the bird flies) data. During flight we know she is heading 283 degrees at 117 kilometers per hour and is 2,083 meters in altitude. All that information can be pieced together to determine their energetic demands, or how much fuel they need to make those big moves.’’

    She flew 636 miles non-stop to the Isabel, Kansas area on her first migration leg. She then flew 415 miles on another leg and 325 miles to Peace River area in Alberta, Canada.

    On May 4, she made a 770-mile non-stop flight from the Peace River to a frozen mountain lake 75 miles northeast of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The very next day she flew 1,038 miles to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve off Alaska’s Bering Sea.

    “That’s roughly the distance between Baton Rouge and Minneapolis,’’ Link said. “That is some rugged country without any food along the way. Everything is still frozen solid and snow covered up there right now.’’

    The reason they want to get back so quickly is to secure prime Arctic breeding spots in the summer, Link said.

    Finally, she flew another 360 miles coming close to Russia during the flight and to her last known location on Alaska’s North Slope.

    “They’re an interesting species because they arrive down here (Louisiana Gulf Coast) really early,’’ Link said. “Most white-fronts don’t wait to get pushed down here by weather like some other waterfowl species. They depart the north when there is a lot of open water and food. Conversely, in the spring they’re chasing the ice line trying to go back north. They’re trying to be the first one back to the Arctic, gambling on their fitness and when Arctic ice-out will occur.’’

    Link said there is an advantage to the birds getting to the region early so they can defend their preferred spot.

    “These birds have a nest bowl on the edge of a wetland,’’ Link said. “The male will chase other geese away from their chosen piece of real estate. Goslings are going to be flightless for 4-5 weeks after they hatch. They select nest sites where they can walk the young to prime grazing areas. If they don’t get a good spot, they may have a farther walk to get the goslings to a safe place.’’

    The birds Link has captured span the entirety of the breeding range of white-fronts from east to west.

    “It’s an enormous area spanning 2,300 miles from eastern Nunavut (in northern Canada) to the North Slope of Alaska,’’ Link said. “I capture the birds as independently as possible during the fall and winter and they branch out and go their own way. It’s great to see that we’re getting birds from the entirety of their range, not just a couple of breeding colonies. We’re learning but still have a lot of work to do.”

    The tagged goose, which was harvested by a subsistence hunter on May 15 near the small Inuit village of Point Lay, made some long single-day flights as well, according to the data gathered.

    Link, who was able to retrieve the transmitter from the goose, said the data gathered from the study, which will continue for at least two more years, has been invaluable.
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    Listen to your elders. Not because they are always right but because they have more experiences of being wrong.

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  2. #2
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    Really cool

  3. #3
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    That is one heck of a journey. Didn't realize they breed that far north.

    Delta in a nutshell: Breeding grounds + small wetlands + big blocks of grass cover + predator removal + nesting structures + enough money to do the job= plenty of ducks to keep everyone smiling!

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  4. #4
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    Whitefronts are the only geese I will shoot anymore. They are delicious. We killed some in AR and MS that were banded in Nunavut. That's a long way to travel.
    F**K Cancer

    Just Damn.

  5. #5
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    Amazing birds. I did not know they could travel that far in that short of time. 1800 miles in 2 days is incredible.
    "Luck is where opportunity and preparation meet."

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    Good post!
    Quote Originally Posted by BOG View Post
    Tip:
    Although it is natural for you and seems to be out of your hands, try to suppress your natural inclination towards dumbassedness and do some research of your own.I wish you luck.

  7. #7
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    The tagged goose, which was harvested by a subsistence hunter on May 15 near the small Inuit village of Point Lay, made some long single-day flights as well, according to the data gathered.
    interesting way to die. same thing happened to one of the banded ringnecks Delta was studying. Gets killed by an Indian in Summer....
    Ugh. Stupid people piss me off.

  8. #8
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    The Whitefront band returns we received were all elderly birds. 11, 14 and if IRC, 16 years banded. That is a lot of miles and predator evasion. Waterfowl are pretty incredible animals.
    F**K Cancer

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  9. #9
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    Saw a crazy amount of white fronts in SK this spring. Sadly couldnt kill them, lots migrating during that time. Did end up killing a banded 20 year old rossi.

  10. #10
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    I killed a speck in southeast MO a few years ago that was banded in Atqasuk, AK several years prior. About 3500mi point to point. Need to go pull that card and get the details.

    Interesting that they can get that data real time nowadays.
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  11. #11
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    See if this helps...

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  12. #12
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    It’s pretty amazing at the distance they travel and we only see a small part of it. All 3 of the speck bands I have were banded in Alaska and killed in AR
    .
    80-20 Genaration

  13. #13
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    I guess a lot of the newer crowd won't remember when SCDUCKS kicked up a bunch of money and sat tagged some pintails. One of them flew past the arctic circle. Crazy what they can do...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JABIII View Post
    I guess a lot of the newer crowd won't remember when SCDUCKS kicked up a bunch of money and sat tagged some pintails. One of them flew past the arctic circle. Crazy what they can do...
    I remember. We need to do some more of that kind of stuff
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    80-20 Genaration

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    We don’t do hunting and wildlife conservation here anymore. It’s all political conspiracy theories and fart jokes. We could gps collar Q and see where that finally leads.

  16. #16
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    I know the guy in charge of this study....I helped him catch some black bellies a few years ago...he deff puts in the miles and hours to get this data. He bands more waterfowl by his crew than the whole rest of the country...a couple years ago his cracked corn bill was $33,000. Talking to him about ducks will make your head explode
    When in doubt, shoot him again!

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  17. #17
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    i submit that guy ^ for NN’s Wife’s podcast

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleSprig View Post
    i submit that guy ^ for NN’s Wife’s podcast
    Absolutely x1000

  19. #19
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    Same. That would be awesome to hear his take on current flyway shifts.

  20. #20
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    Atlantic Flyway is toast barring some super deadly human virus that stops all development projects.
    F**K Cancer

    Just Damn.

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